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Recent Scientific Research into E-Cigarettes

Posted July 8th, 2013 in News by Steve

Partly because e-cigarettes have been around for only a few years, there is not a great amount of scientific research into their safety and effectiveness as a quit smoking product. This has led some people and organisations to express caution about electronic cigarettes, with some even taking a critical stance towards them. Some countries have even gone so far as to ban them. The scientific evidence that does exist, however, is very positive and supports the contention that e-cigarettes are both safe and effective. The following discussion is a review of the results of two recent experiments into electronic cigarettes.

University of Catania study

The first study was conducted at the University of Catania and was headed by Dr Ricardo Polosa. It found that 8.7 per cent of participants stopped smoking tobacco cigarettes for a period of at least 12 months. The quitting rate was 4 per cent for those who did not use nicotine, but rose to 13 per cent if the participant used nicotine. The subject population consisted of 300 Italian men and women, and the research was conducted over a two year period from 2010 to 2012. In an interview with Reuters, Dr Polosa stated that “I think the main message of the study is that we can use these products as an extraordinary tobacco control tool”.

University of East Anglia study

A second experiment was conducted by researchers at the University of East Anglia. The subject population consisted of 1,347 people and was spread over 33 countries. The researchers found that 70 per cent of participants reported a reduction in their urge to smoke. More importantly, 74 per cent reported that they had either quit smoking or reduced their consumption of tobacco cigarettes after a six week period. The study also found that those who quit smoking with the e-cigarette, were able to quit using the e-cigarette at a later date.


It should be noted that these are only two experiments on electronic cigarettes out of many more. They have been chosen because of their large number of participants and because they were published recently. Of course, they are not the final word on e-cigarettes; indeed, the University of New Zealand in Auckland has recently announced that it will be conducting research into e-cigarettes. The research will involve 650 participants and will look at the effectiveness of electronic cigarettes as a quit smoking tool in comparison to nicotine inhalers, gums and patches. The results should be very interesting.

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