Overall, teens are four times more prone to trying traditional tobacco cigarettes if they've ever used an e-cigarette, the researchers said. The researchers aimed to examine how cigarette use among the sample of 6123 respondents changed by the 2015 to 2016 interval in association with prior use of e-cigarettes, other tobacco products or no prior tobacco use at all.
"The study was performed under medical supervision and with medical behavioural support of the smokers that tried to quit", Jordt, who is not affiliated with the research, said.
There has been some opposition to the idea of vaping to quit smoking.
"While e-cigarettes are "safer" than traditional cigarettes, they are not without risks", wrote Belinda Borrelli, professor of health policy at Boston University Henry M. Goldman School of Dental Medicine, and George O'Connor, professor of medicine at Boston University School of Medicine.
A randomized trial reported in 2013 found that e-cigarettes were slightly more effective than nicotine patches: The six-month quit rate for vapers was 7.3 percent, compared to 5.8 percent for patch users. Both groups also participated in "behavioral support" sessions.
Extrapolating their data, the researchers estimated that 820,414 youths had smoked a cigarette over the examined years, with almost 180,000 of those having used e-cigarettes previously.
E-cigarettes were used more frequently and for longer, the trial found.
E-cigarettes are placed on a shelf for sale in a store in Prague, Czech Republic, January 31, 2019.
"If you have a method of helping people with smoking cessation that is both more effective and less costly, that should be of great interest to anyone providing health services, " said Kenneth Warner, a retired University of MI public health professor who was not involved in the study.
The journal was apparently so embarrassed about the positive results that it commissioned not one but two accompanying editorials slamming e-cigarettes, one offering questionable advice to doctors (insist smokers try and fail with NRT first; use low nicotine vaping products), and the other advocating for a vaping flavor ban.
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According to Martin Dockrell, tobacco control lead at Public Health England, "this landmark research shows that switching to an e-cigarette can be one of the most effective ways to quit smoking, especially when combined with face-to-face support".
Specialist stop smoking services "more likely to include e-cigarettes among treatment options".
One of the main reasons was the epidemic-level rise of e-cigarette use among high school students.
"We really isolated a very low-risk group of youth, and within that group experimentation with e-cigarettes had a pronounced effect on subsequent cigarette uptake", Stokes said.
The American Lung Association is calling on the Florida Legislature to enact Amendment 9, approved by voters a year ago, which expands current smoke-free protections to include e-cigarettes, or vaping. Those devices have largely been overtaken in the U.S.by Juul and similar devices that have prefilled nicotine cartridges, or pods.
Funding for the study came from the British government, which has embraced e-cigarettes as a potential tool to combat smoking through state-run health services.
Because the PATH study data was observational, the researchers admitted their analysis is unable to "establish causal relations or rule out the possibility of residual confounding by underlying risk-taking propensities".
Myers' group is one of several anti-smoking organizations suing the FDA to immediately begin reviewing e-cigarettes.
"I tried it for a whole month, but it just wasn't doing it for me, " said Armitage, an audio-visual technician in Washington. "And there is also the 'cool factor, '" he said.