If you’ve read any of my previous articles, you’ll know that I’m a firm believer that Vaping is the best form of nicotine replacement therapy (I mean, why would I think anything else)
GPs and stop smoking services have started backing vaping as a form of NRT also, with a lot of GPs recommending their patients use an e-cigarette to quit smoking, as well as Stop Smoking services doing the same. And now, the strongest evidence yet has been published from a study by a team of experts from Oxford University that using an e-cigarette is likely the most successful form of Nicotine Replacement Therapy for somebody looking to quit smoking. Let’s take a look at the report…
What is Nicotine Replacement Therapy?
Nicotine Replacement Therapy is exactly what it sounds like, a form of nicotine replacement used by someone wanting to quit smoking. When a person wants to quit smoking, it’s always suggested they use a form of NRT to make the process easier on them. It’s not essential that it is used, but always recommended as giving up nicotine the cold turkey method can cause some horrible withdrawal symptoms due to nicotine being such an addictive substance, it’s not easy to quit just like that hence why NRT’s were introduced.
There’s the long standing “original” forms of nicotine replacement therapy, such as nicotine patches, nicotine gum, lozenges or inhalers that do work and have seen much success from people using them over the years to quit, but a new contender for the top spot has started gaining serious traction and that is the E-Cigarette
Using an E-Cigarette as a form of Nicotine Replacement Therapy
Using an e-cigarette as NRT is really helpful as it is the closest replicant to smoking than actually smoking a cigarette. A lot of people enjoy the psychosomatic effects of smoking, such as the hand to mouth action of smoking, the throat hit from the nicotine, and blowing the smoke out after inhaling, and using an E-Cig can do all this, just without the hideous amount of toxins and chemicals that are found in a lit cigarette.
Using an E-Cig also gives users a lot more flexibility to alter the nicotine strength of their vape juice over time, by choosing a strength that is similar to the amount of cigarettes that they smoked in a day, and the ultimate end goal would be tapering down the nicotine content in the vape juice over time until it was very low, or no nicotine being present in the vape juice at all. This is a sign of success and overcoming a nicotine addiction by beating it! And ultimately this has been achievable by the use of an E-Cigarette helping along the way.
The Cochrane review of the study conducted by Oxford University
The Cochrane Library is arguably the most trusted source for information, and research on the internet today. As the subtitle on their website reads “Trusted Evidence, Informed Decisions” and I agree with this. They find studies that are carried out by Universities all over the world, and analyse the data and provide reports which are very trustworthy and accurate. Cochrane reviews are widely credited for being the most authoritative summaries of the state of evidence and I often refer to them and would only write articles based on their output on the subject as I use them for reference.
Their latest review was on a case study carried out by a team of experts based at the University of Oxford, UK. This study was to look at the effectiveness, tolerability, and safety of the use of E-Cigarettes to help people who have been long term tobacco smokers quit tobacco in a period of long standing abstinence.
Cochrane followed their standard methods for screening and data extraction. The primary outcome measures were abstinence from smoking after at least six months follow‐up. And they looked at secondary outcomes included the proportion of people still using study product E-Cigs or other forms of NRT at six or more months after randomization or starting EC use, changes in carbon monoxide, blood pressure, heart rate, arterial oxygen saturation, lung function, and levels of carcinogens or toxicants, or both.
The studies showed that there was high certainty that quit rates were higher in people who were selected to use an E-Cigarette than those who were using randomized Nicotine Replacement Therapy options that were issued to them by Oxford University. On top of this, there were moderate-certainty that quit rates were higher by those who were using an E-Cigarette than those using a different NRT option.
The author of the Cochrane report summarised saying that E-cigarettes that contain nicotine increases quit rates compared to those of “traditional” nicotine replacement therapy options, with the likelihood of quitting being longer than six months. As well as moderate certainty that they increase quit rates compared to someone using an E-Cigarette without nicotine (remember what I said about going the cold turkey method, this is one of the ways people could try)
And to put it in numbers, the study shows that 9-14 out of every 100 people using an e-cigarette containing nicotine would likely quit smoking for more than six months than those who use a different Nicotine Replacement Therapy.
I’ve always been an advocate of vaping as an NRT option, as my articles have shown, and it’s so good to see a report being analysed by some top-level reliable experts to show that my beliefs are showing true with the evidence to back it up.
I personally believe that vaping is the future for nicotine replacement therapy, and the validation and backing it is getting from healthcare experts is just brilliant to see. GP’s and Stop smoking services advocating vaping and recommending it is one thing, but for a team of experts to go through these studies in such detail, and produce such fantastic intricate reports is so good to see and read.