E-cigarettes more effective in helping smokers quit – group
MANILA, Philippines — A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine showed that e-cigarettes are more effective at helping smokers quit than nicotine replacement therapy.
This was the assertion of the Philippine E-Cigarette Industry Association (PECIA), the country’s biggest industry group, as it aims to correct “misconception about electronic cigarettes.”
PECIA cited the research titled “A randomized trial of e-cigarettes versus nicotine replacement therapy,” which found that the “quit rate” of smokers switching to e-cigarettes was at 18 percent while quit rate of smokers who switched to nicotine replacement products such as patches, gums, and inhalers was only at 9.9 percent.
The study, funded by British National Institute for Health Research, involved assessment on 900 smokers for a year.
“This research is very important because it corrects the misconception about electronic cigarettes and it shows that e-cigarettes can significantly provide an effective alternative to smokers who wish to quit,” PECIA President Joey Dulay said in a statement on Thursday.
“No longer can anyone say that there is no reliable research on the effectiveness of e-cigarettes in curbing smoking,” Dulay added.
PECIA urged the government to evaluate the benefits of e-cigarettes as an alternative to smoking.
“We appeal to the government and regulators to assess carefully the benefits of e-cigarettes because it will provide an effective alternative to smoking just as what this study has proven,” Dulay pointed out.
PECIA said e-cigarettes may also be instrumental in reducing costs related to smoking problem in the Philippines.
According to Dulay, this latest study on e-cigarettes “has confirmed how e-cigarettes can be an effective tool in reducing health costs related to tobacco smoking” since it provides “a realistic option” for smokers who want to quit.
The World Health Organization had said the Philippines has 15.9 million smokers in 2015. /kga
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