The Cochran Group endorses vaping as effective smoking cessation aid


A new study released by the Cochrane Tobacco Addiction Group (CTAG) confirms yet again vaping is optimally more effective in helping smokers quit than other conventional nicotine replacement therapies (NRTs).  The organization’s findings are based on its review of over fifty individual vaping studies published since 2014 and involving some 26 clinical trials. 

The Cochran Group is a non-profit organization whose members span across 130 countries and include scientists, healthcare professionals, public health experts, and “people passionate about improving health outcomes for everyone, everywhere.”  While the CTAG focusses primarily on tobacco control and tobacco harm reduction, the larger organization promotes evidence-based scientific research across nearly every category of public and personal health. 

Related Article:  Vaping is twice as effective than NRTs for smoking cessation, says new study

When the Cochran Group releases a report, it is often considered the gold-standard. And because its membership is so broad, its publications are read my millions of physicians, nurses, and medical specialists from every corner of the globe.  So, when the Cochran Group says that vaping is not only more effective in quitting smoking than traditional nicotine gums, lozenges, and patches but is also infinitely safe to use long-term, it’s truly noteworthy.

In the CTAG report entitled Electronic cigarettes for smoking cessation, the researchers make the following conclusions:

“There is moderate‐certainty evidence that ECs with nicotine increase quit rates compared to ECs without nicotine and compared to NRT. Evidence comparing nicotine EC with usual care/no treatment also suggests benefit, but is less certain. More studies are needed to confirm the degree of effect, particularly when using modern EC products. Confidence intervals were wide for data on AEs, SAEs and other safety markers. Overall incidence of SAEs was low across all study arms. We did not detect any clear evidence of harm from nicotine EC, but longest follow‐up was two years and the overall number of studies was small.”

The CTAG publication is more-or-less an addendum to previous research which took place before the mass-marketing of vapor products became popular.  And while this latest paper bases many of its conclusions on more current research dating back as far as 2014, the co-authors readily admit that more extensive clinical trials are required before they can upgrade their “moderate” rating to their preferred “superior” rating for electronic cigarettes as a smoking cessation aid.

The 2019 Wolfson vaping study

However, the CTAG current findings are indeed supported by other research published in February 2019 entitled A Randomized Trial of E-Cigarettes versus Nicotine-Replacement Therapy published in New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM).   This study led by Dr. Peter Hajek of the Wolfson Institute of Preventative Medicine at Queen Mary University in London estimates that vaping devices are perhaps two-times more effective in helping smokers quit than other Big Pharma NRTs. 

Related Article:  ‘Biologically implausible’: Public health expert refutes study claiming vaping causes COPD

In the 2019 research, the Wolfson clinical trial consisted of over one thousand participants who were asked to quit smoking for a full 12-months.  They were split groups depending on their choice of stop smoking aid.  Of the 886 participants who were successful in quitting smoking long-term, 18 percent had chosen vaping as their tobacco harm reduction tool and only 9.9 percent had selected other nicotine patches, gums, and lozenges.

“A total of 886 participants underwent randomization. The 1-year abstinence rate was 18.0% in the e-cigarette group, as compared with 9.9% in the nicotine-replacement group (relative risk, 1.83; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.30 to 2.58; P<0.001). Among participants with 1-year abstinence, those in the e-cigarette group were more likely than those in the nicotine-replacement group to use their assigned product at 52 weeks (80% [63 of 79 participants] vs. 9% [4 of 44 participants]).” 

Of course, even The Cochran Group has its limitations.  American doctors are rather funny when it comes to the types of publications that they find trustworthy.  To this day, even the U.S. Food and Drug Administration refuses to acknowledge the 2015 research published by Public Heath England which indicates vaping is 95 percent less harmful than smoking.  Perhaps even more alarming, a recent study conducted by scientists from Rutgers University indicates that a whopping 77 percent of doctors surveyed wrongly believe that nicotine causes cancer.

Related Article:   Rutgers survey: 77% of doctors mistakenly believe nicotine (not smoking) causes cancer

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