Electronic Cigarettes Verse Top Smoking Cessation Aids

There are plenty of people who will tell you that e cigarettes are an effective aid for those who want to stop smoking cigarettes. Others will argue that they do not work at all. Let’s take a look at your options and make a decision that is based on actual facts.

Quit spelled out with cigarettesE cigarettes are one of the very few smoking cessation aids that are not currently regulated by the FDA. The pattern seems to be for the FDA to approve smoking cessation aids and initially make them available by prescription only. Then they wait a few years and see that people are actually smart enough to manage their own quitting process without the intervention of a doctor. The aid then becomes approved for over the counter sales. This is what happened with the patch, gum, and lozenges – all of which can now be purchased OTC, even if they do come with warning labels that might suggest you avoid things like eating a nicotine patch or snorting a lozenge. This seems a bit like overkill, but when you consider the warnings that come on a shampoo bottle, warnings on tobacco replacement products really aren’t such a bad idea.

Generally speaking the FDA likes to regulate everything that people use to stop smoking. Oddly enough, part of the reason they do this is because nicotine is addictive. Yet many warnings have been removed from nicotine replacement products. Why? Because the FDA concluded that there was no risk of addiction to the products, even though they contain nicotine. Today they want to regulate e cigarettes, in part because they contain nicotine. It’s enough to make you dizzy.

How effective are these products effective though? The American Cancer Society estimates that only between 4% and 7% of smokers are able to quit on any given attempt without a cessation aid of some sort.  Take a look at some of the products below and their success rates.

Over the Counter Options

Of all of the over the counter products approved by the FDA for use as smoking cessation aids the highest rate of success comes from using a combination of several distinct products. The patch, gum, and lozenges are all included in this group. By using various combinations, smokers realized a 20% success rate after one year in one study. Using one product, smokers only experienced a 7.5% success rate.

As of now, e cigarettes are not approved as a smoking cessation aids because they are not regulated by the FDA. However, studies have shown up to a 20% success rate when electronic cigarettes are used to quit smoking. To be fair other studies have shown quitting rates closer to 9%.

Prescription Options

Chantix and Zyban are both approved by the FDA as smoking cessation aids that do not contain nicotine. When they are taken as directed, these products are effective for those who have made up their minds to stop smoking. Chantix themselves claims a 44% success rate for smokers in their study after 3 months of treatment. The numbers for Zyban are less clear as multiple sources report differing success rates. However, the side effects from either can sometimes be more uncomfortable than most people want to deal with. Side effects from nausea to insomnia to depression have been associated with either one or both of these prescription options.

Nicotrol is a smoking cessation aid that can be inhaled a nasal spray or an orally. It requires a prescription and is approved by the FDA as a smoking cessation aid. Studies have shown an increased chance of success over a matter of weeks, but long term studies have not been done to determine the final rate of success. Inhalers have however been found to be effective when used together with the patch, gum or lozenges.

To date, e cigarettes have among the highest rate of success when used to stop smoking. Smokers should note that chances of success always increase when more than one method is used at a time. It is possible to overdose on nicotine, so even though studies have shown increased chances of success when using a combination of aids that contain nicotine, this can be a dangerous route. If you are using more than one nicotine or nicotine replacement aid please be conscious of how much you are taking in. Follow all instructions from your doctor and the manufacturer. You might also try combining e cigarettes with therapy or other, non-medicinal methods. We are looking forward to more research and figures on the effectiveness of e cigarettes as quitting aids. Like us, many vapers out there can share their personal success stories.

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