For people who want to kick the habit of smoking, opting for the alternative – such as the use of electronic nicotine delivery systems or e-cigarettes – seems like the safer bet. After all, using e-cigarettes is believed to be less risky than using conventional cigarettes.
The United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) even found in a 2014 survey that 55 percent of adults who have quit smoking used an e-cigarette once, while about 22 percent currently uses the device. It implies that adult smokers turn to e-cigarettes instead of the usual type.
However, several new and past studies suggest that the notion that e-cigarettes are less dangerous than conventional cigarettes may be incorrect. The electronic smoking device was found to damage human cells, among many other side effects.
E-cigarettes may not really be effective in helping smokers quit at all, experts said.
How Are E-Cigarettes Ineffective?
In a new study issued in The Lancet Respiratory Medicine, researchers from the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) performed a meta-analysis and systematic review of published data on smoking.
The UC San Francisco researchers reviewed 38 studies that focused on the association between cigarette cessation or quitting, and e-cigarette use among adult smokers. They combined their findings with the results from 20 studies that had control groups.
The team discovered that adult smokers who use e-cigarettes are actually 28 percent less likely to quit smoking conventional cigarettes.
“The irony is that quitting smoking is one of the main reasons both adults and kids use e-cigarettes, but the overall effect is less, not more, quitting,” said Professor Stanton A. Glantz, co-author of the study.