E-cigarettes are battery-powered devices that heat up a liquid containing nicotine and artificial flavoring. The vapor is inhaled - 'vaped' - and exhaled, much like a cigarette. Often touted as an aide for giving up tobacco, a new research has suggested that e-cigarettes in fact lowers the odds of quitting success.
A research duo from the University of California, San Francisco reviewed the findings of 38 studies conducted across the globe into e-cigarette use, and concluded that smokers who use the devices were 28% less likely to quit smoking tobacco.
Published in the Lancet Respiratory Medicine, it claimed to be the largest review of e-cigarette's value as a tool to help smokers kick the habit.
"The irony is that quitting smoking is one of the main reasons both adults and kids use e-cigarettes, but the overall effect is less, not more, quitting. While there is no question that a puff on an e-cigarette is less dangerous than a puff on a conventional cigarette, the most dangerous thing about e-cigarettes is that they keep people smoking conventional cigarettes," said co-author Stanton Glantz.
In the last few years, health experts and watchdogs have been embroiled in debate as to whether the gadgets, often not strictly regulated, are safe.
E-cigarettes can also be used with nicotine-free liquids, but some fear e-cigarettes could be a gateway to 'real' cigarettes for teenagers.