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E-cigarettes are better for graduation

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E-cigarettes are almost twice as effective as helping smokers leave Nicotine replacement therapy, such as patches, lozenges and gum, according to the results of a major clinical trial. A study involving almost 900 smokers found that 18 percent of electronic cigarette users are smoke-free after a year, compared with 9.9 percent who tried to stop using other products. "This is great news for smokers who want to quit," said Richard Miech of the University of Michigan in the United States who studied electronic cigarettes but did not participate in the process. "These proofs are convincing." E-cigarettes do not contain tobacco but contain nicotine-containing liquids that the user inhales in steam. Many large tobacco companies, including British American Tobacco, Imperial Brands and Japan Tobacco, sell e-cigarettes. The use of electronic cigarettes or "exhaustion" is seen by many healthcare professionals as an effective way to give tobacco smokers, but the scientific community has been divided into its potential public health benefits. Independent experts said the latest study, funded by the British National Institutes for Health Research and conducted by Queen Mary University scientists in London, was robust and well-done. Some research has previously suggested that e-cigarettes may help smokers to drop or leave altogether, but further studies have raised concerns about their use in adolescents. This study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, found a stronger e-cigarette effect than previous experiments. Researchers said this could be due to the involvement of smokers seeking help, providing personal support and enabling users of electronic cigarettes to choose their own fluids. In a clinical trial, 886 smokers were randomly assigned to groups that received either up to three months of nicotine replacement products such as patches, gum, lozenges and sprays, or a single or two-bottle e-cigarette starter pack, and encouraged to buy their own selection of future deliveries. All participants were also tested to see if they still smoked tobacco cigarettes and had at least once a week support for at least four weeks. The researchers said one of the reasons why e-cigarettes proved to be more effective could be to allow nicotine to better tune nicotine doses to individual needs. Jamie Hartmann-Boyce, a behavioral expert at Oxford University in the UK, added that the study adds to the growing evidence that e-cigarettes can improve health by leaving them. "More research is needed on the effects of a long-term electronic cigarette, but experts believe electronic cigarettes are considerably less harmful than smoking, so switching … is likely to bring significant health benefits," she said. Australian Associated Press

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