In the trial, 886 smokers were randomly divided into groups to receive either up to three months' supply of nicotine replacement products such as patches, gum, lozenges and sprays, or an e-cigarette starter pack with one or two bottles of liquid and encouragement to buy their own choice of future supplies.
"Although a large number of smokers report that they have quit smoking successfully with the help of e-cigarettes, health professionals have been reluctant to recommend their use because of the lack of clear evidence from randomised controlled trials".
But "low-risk" teens are almost nine times more likely to try smoking after they've vaped, according to findings published online February 1 in JAMA Network Open. "This is now likely to change", Hajek said. The trial compared the efficacy of e-cigarettes and licensed smoking cessation aids.
E-cigarettes form the core of Public Health England's stop-smoking strategy, with TV adverts, health campaigns, and researchers championing the technology. Studies show that women smoke for reasons other than the nicotine-mainly the habits that go along with the smoking.
The recent enormous popularity of Juul e-cigarettes among teenagers probably has made vaping's influence even stronger among low-risk teens, Stokes added.
The new study "strengthens earlier findings in a couple of ways", Primack said. And most importantly, he'd make these products more widely available. "If anything, we may have underestimated the gravity of the problem relative to where we stand today".
Writing in an editorial to accompany the New England Journal of Medicine research, Boston professors Belinda Borrelli and George O'Connor said: 'While e-cigarettes are "safer" than traditional cigarettes, they are not without risks. In addition, some flavorings of e-cigs have been shown to be harmful.
The researchers analyzed data from three waves of the nationally representative Population Assessment of Tobacco and Health (PATH) Study (2013-2016) in their effort to evaluate the association between prior e-cigarette use and use of other non-cigarette tobacco products with later cigarette initiation over a roughly 2-year period.
A second survey in 2015-2016 assessed how numerous kids had tried either vaping or smoking in the interim.
When researchers checked back after a year, they found that 80 percent of e-cigarette users who had managed to steer clear of combustible cigarettes were still vaping regularly. Additionally, they estimated that more than 43,000 current youth cigarette users in the United States started smoking cigarettes after initially using e-cigarettes. Przulj thinks that's a risk definitely worth taking.
Researchers hope their findings will lead to vaping devices being routinely offered by stop-smoking services. They found that 20 percent of vapers were no longer smoking, compared to 10.1 percent of NRT users.
Nicotine addiction is one potential explanation for this effect, said Dr. Christy Sadreameli, a pediatric pulmonologist at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, and a volunteer spokeswoman for the American Lung Association. It's true, e-cigarettes do contain nicotine, and sometimes in equivalent quantities as to what is found in a combustible cigarette.
"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.
At the same time, Rigotti and other experts cautioned that no vaping products have been approved in the U.S.to help smokers quit.
The treatment groups also recorded their side effects.
The New York Times reports that a yearlong, randomized trial conducted in the UK shows that e-cigarettes are almost twice as effective as smoking cessation products like patches or gum, which in the United States are the only two smoking cessation products approved by the FDA.