E-cigarettes should be recommended more for smoking cessation

Are electronic cigarettes recommended to stop smoking?


Kenneth Warner, dean emeritus and professor emeritus at the University of Michigan School of Public Health, believes there is sufficient evidence to support the use of e-cigarettes as a first-line smoking cessation aid for adults. “Far too many adults who want to quit smoking are not successful,” Warner said. “E-cigarettes are the first new tool to help them in decades. Yet relatively few smokers and health professionals appreciate their potential value.”

In a study published in Nature Medicine, Warner and colleagues took a global view of vaping, examining which countries promote vaping as a means of smoking cessation and which do not. Although agencies in the United States and Canada recognize the potential benefits of e-cigarette use, they find insufficient evidence to recommend e-cigarette use for smoking cessation, according to the authors. However, in the United Kingdom and New Zealand, e-cigarettes are receiving high-level support and promotion as a first-line treatment option for smoking cessation. “We believe that governments, medical professional groups, and individual healthcare professionals in countries such as the United States, Canada, and Australia should pay more attention to the potential of e-cigarettes to improve smoking cessation,” Warner said. “E-cigarettes are not the silver bullet that will end the devastation caused by smoking, but they can contribute to this noble public health goal.”

Warner concludes that “acceptance of the promotion of e-cigarettes as a smoking cessation tool will likely depend on continued efforts to reduce access to and use of the products by youth who have never smoked. These two goals can and should coexist.”

Nicotine e-cigarettes as a tool for smoking cessation. K. Warner & coll. Nature Medicine. https://www.nature.com/articles/s41591-022-02201-7

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