Landmark UK Study: E-cigarettes Almost Twice as Effective as NRT

Friday, 1st of February, 2019 – The New England Journal of Medicine has published a new study yesterday announcing that 18% of participants in their study who were given vaping products and a 4-week behavioral course remained smoke-free after a year,  as compared to 10% of participants in their study who were given medical nicotine such as patches or gum.

This shows that e-cigarettes are almost twice as effective as nicotine replacement therapies in helping smokers quit smoking in the long term!

Many of the studies done in the past 7 years have used the “gold standard” of randomized-controlled methodology and a single poor model of the e-cigarette (called the CE4 – which is no longer popular anywhere internationally) which was also poor at delivering nicotine to run their studies. Even then, those studies have still shown the efficacy of e-cigarettes as being approximately equal to that of nicotine patches and gums. As a result, the lack of a distinct or clear advantage of e-cigarette (as referenced from the old model of e-cigarettes called the CE4) over medical nicotine has long caused medical professionals to be skeptical of the need for vaping products over existing pharmaceutical options.

Vaping technology has developed far ahead since those studies, and consumers today have access to e-cigarette products that have been innovated to be far safer and more effective in satisfying their craving to smoke.

“An Issue Rarely Discussed: Most Smokers Actually Enjoy Smoking”

Medical practitioners who have been reluctant to recommend vaping products to smoking patients do so largely because studies in the past have shown little advantage over existing nicotine replacement therapies (NRT). However, Professor Peter Hayek, professor of clinical psychology, and Director of the Wolfson Institute of Preventive Medicine’s Tobacco Dependence Research Unit at Queen Mary University of London suggested that this reluctance is now likely to change in light of increasing studies which are done with the right methodologies and the findings that come with them.

E-cigarettes have started and have been popularized as consumer products rather than medical interventions initially. While this latest study from The New England Journal of Medicine provides very good data on what happens when middle-aged smokers are encouraged to try modern vaping products, it hasn’t yet encompass the full advantage of how vaping is affecting all smoking behaviors.

The reason that many people who smoke have success remaining smoke-free with e-cigarette or vaping products is straightforward: They are designed to be pleasurable. As one of the authors of the study, Professor Hayden McRobbie states: “an issue that is rarely discussed is that some smokers actually enjoy smoking, and vaping may help them retain this.”

Most smokers have never liked the dour medical positioning and characteristics of nicotine replacement therapies (NRT). Perhaps the key to ending smoking is simple: Allow nicotine to be treated like any consumer product, and allow businesses to develop products that smokers love.