The Washington Post reports:
E-cigarettes are almost twice as effective at helping smokers quit as nicotine replacement therapies such as lozenges and patches, according to a new study that immediately stoked the debate over whether e-cigarettes are an important smoking-cessation tool or a health menace.
The study, published online Wednesday by the New England Journal of Medicine, is the first randomized trial to test the effectiveness of modern e-cigarettes vs. nicotine-replacement products, said Peter Hajek, a psychologist at Queen Mary University of London, who led the trial. The researchers found that 18 percent of the e-cigarette users were smoke-free after a year, compared with 9.9 percent of those in the nicotine-replacement group. The participants also received behavioral support to stop smoking.
For years, physicians have been reluctant to recommend e-cigarettes for smoking cessation because of a lack of clinical trial data, Hajek said. “This is now likely to change,” he added in a statement.
A randomised trial is very robust, and that is a huge finding.