The research was able to demonstrate for the first time that the products were actually effective in how they assisted those who wanted to quit smoking.
The findings, published in the Lancet medical journal, are not quite enough to make public health experts embrace e-cigarettes, which are not yet regulated and which are growing in popularity. But it’s enough to make them look more closely at whether there may be some benefit to them.
“You’re trading one addiction for another addiction,” Dr. Cheryl Healton, president and CEO of the anti-tobacco Legacy Foundation, told NBC News. “(But) it may be that for some people, this will be a better way to quit, and there may be people who’ve tried other things and haven’t been able to quit who will quit with this.”
The study did not show a real clear difference between the use of patches and e-cigarettes, though e-cigs did help more than patches in helping smokers cut down on the amount they did smoke.