A recent study has indicated that cancer patients who smoke e-cigarettes are more nicotine dependent and also unlikely to quit smoking than non users. The report was published in a peer-reviewed journal of the American Cancer Society, and the study raises serious questions about the benefits of E Cigarettes in quitting smoking in cancer patients.
It is a fact that the risks of persistent smoking are very high in persons and particularly so in cancer patient who must quit the habit at all costs. However, the increasing use of e-cigarettes as a helpful tool for quitting smoking has raised a number of questions about its utility and if it is really beneficial for quitting smoking or is it just a replacement of a n evil with a lesser evil.
Patients and their health care providers are wondering whether or not electronic cigarettes helps or hinders quitting efforts. In a bid to answer these questions a study was conducted under the aegis of Sloan Kettering Memorial Cancer Center in New York City. The study involved 1074 cancer patients who smoked. The patients were enrolled in a tobacco treatment program within a comprehensive cancer center between 2012 and 2013.
The study revealed that a three-fold increase in e-cigarette use between these years, of 10.6% versus 38.5%. At the start of the enrolment the e-cigarette users were more nicotine dependent than non-users. They had more prior quit attempts and were more likely to be diagnosed with lung or head and neck cancers. E-cigarette users were just as probable to be smoking as compared to non-users. Seven day abstinence rates were 44.4% versus 43.1% for e-cigarette users and non-users, respectively.
Dr Jamie Ostroff, who led the research said, “Consistent with recent observations of increased e-cigarette use in the general population, our findings illustrate that e-cigarette use among tobacco-dependent cancer patients has increased within the past two years.”
However there are skeptics who opine that the study was flawed since it only followed up smokers who tried e-cigarettes but did not stop smoking, and excluded smokers who tried e-cigarettes and stopped smoking.