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Scientific American article on Ecigs

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Scientific American article on Ecigs

Postby Artist Boy » Tue May 07, 2013 12:07 pm

Do Electronic Cigarettes Really Help Smokers Quit?
The results of the first trials on the efficacy of e-cigarettes are due this year, offering new hope for a stubborn addiction

By Alisa Opar

Everyone knows that cigarettes are bad for you. Yet 45 million Americans smoke, a habit that shaves a decade off life expectancy and causes cancer as well as heart and lung diseases. Nearly 70 percent of smokers want to quit, but despite the deadly consequences, the vast majority of them fail.

Going cold turkey works for fewer than 10 percent of smokers. Even with counseling and the use of aids approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, such as the nicotine patch and non-nicotine medicines, 75 percent of smokers light up again within a year. “We need better treatments because the current ones just aren’t working all that well,” says Jed Rose, director of the Duke Center for Smoking Cessation.

To create treatments that are more up to snuff, researchers are tinkering with combinations of existing drugs, looking at the role genetics plays in who gets hooked and turning to social media as a counseling platform. What’s more, a new smoking cessation medicine could be approved this year: electronic cigarettes, which have existed for a decade but only recently become the focus of efficacy trials.

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