SAN DIEGO, April 16 (UPI) -- Electronic cigarettes continue to make headlines for all the wrong reasons. Despite the evidence of their ill effects, defenders of the vaporizers claim e-cigs offer value as a cessation device. They help you quit smoking, they say.
But new a new study by researchers at the University of California, San Diego, suggests the opposite is true -- that e-cigarettes actually make it harder to quit, not easier. The study showed smokers who used e-cigs were 49 percent less likely to cut down on their cigarette use and 59 percent less likely to quit entirely.
"Based on the idea that smokers use e-cigarettes to quit smoking, we hypothesized that smokers who used these products would be more successful in quitting," study author Dr. Wael Al-Delaimy, an epidemiology professor and chief of the UCSD Division of Global Public Health, explained in a press release. "But the research revealed the contrary. We need further studies to answer why they cannot quit. One hypothesis is that smokers are receiving an increase in nicotine dose by using e-cigarettes."
The research was conducted as part of a yearlong study that charted the health and behavior of 1,000 California smokers. The study also found that women and daily smokers were the two groups most likely to have tried electronic cigarettes.
Critics of e-cigs are been calling for stronger regulations to curb sales to minors and limit the marketing of vaporizers.
The new research was published in the American Journal of Public Health.