Healthy Living

Doctors Are Now Recommending E-Cigarettes To Help Smokers Quit Tobacco, Study Says

e-cigarettes
A new study says that two-thirds of doctors believe that e-cigarettes can help smokers quit tobacco. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock

Some argue that e-cigarettes are going to help people stop smoking, while others say they’re a health hazard and a gateway drug of sorts to spur young people into real cigarettes. But a new study has discovered that more doctors are now recommending them to patients to help curb their tobacco habit.

Published in the journal PLOS ONE, the study reviewed 128 doctors in North Carolina, asking them about their e-cigarette opinion. The researchers found that two-thirds of doctors thought e-cigarettes could be useful in helping people stop smoking, and 35 percent said they had recommended them to their patients.

“Even in the absence of evidence regarding the health impact of e-cigarettes and other vaping devices, a third of physicians we surveyed are recommending e-cigarettes to their patients to help quit smoking,” Leah Ranney, an author of the study and associate director of the Tobacco Prevention and Evaluation Program at the University of North Carolina, said in a press release.

Despite this apparent “go ahead” signal, Ranney warns that e-cigarettes still aren’t FDA-approved for smoking cessation, and that “physicians should refrain from recommending e-cigarettes until more is known about their safety.” In fact, 13 percent of the doctors questioned had no idea that e-cigarettes weren’t FDA-approved yet.

Another recent study claims that the benefits of e-cigarettes outweigh the risks, and that this should be taken account when the FDA and other regulatory agencies decide how to regulate e-cigarettes. Currently, not enough research has been done to determine long-term effects of vaping.

“If there are any risks, these will be many times lower than the risks of smoking tobacco,” Dr. Hayden McRobbie of the Wolfson Institute of Preventive Medicine at Queen Mary University of London, who is an author of the study, said. “We need to think carefully about how these products are regulated. What we found is that there is no evidence that these products should be regulated as strictly as tobacco, or even more strictly than tobacco.”

Loading...