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We now know that e-cigarettes are not effective for smoking cessation, and actually lead to a diminished likelihood of quitting. This may come as a surprise as it would appear that many people have exchanged their “cancer sticks” for a “healthier” alternative. Over the last few years there has been boom in the e-cigarettes market, and practically every major tobacco company now offers digital products that vaporize liquids containing nicotine. While some people have managed to give up traditional tobacco products with the use of an e-cig, research shows that adult smokers who used e-cigs were 28 percent less likely to quit regular cigarettes. The research was published in The Lancet Respiratory Medicine.

For those who are working a program of recovery, it is likely that you have seen people in your recovery circle who are using e-cigarettes – or maybe you have used them yourself. Many experts will argue that the devices are the healthier alternative, and they may be right. However, if you are looking to be free from nicotine, then it is important that you take a different course of action. It is worth pointing out that nicotine can increase the risk of a relapse, so the sooner smoking cessation is accomplished – the better. Using nicotine replacement therapies, such as gum or the patch, are the over the counter methods accepted for smoking cessation.

A new study has found that mailing free nicotine patches to smokers who have a desire to quit can help some tobacco users quit, HealthDay reports. The results are especially surprising because none of the smokers involved in the study were receiving counseling or any other type of support. The research was published in JAMA Internal Medicine.

The study participants who received the patches self-reported 30-day abstinence after six months was more than twice as high as the participants who did not receive the free nicotine patches. While the success rates were quite low, the results were promising. Of the smokers who received the patches – 2.8 percent had abstained from smoking for six months, compared to 1 percent who didn’t get the patches, according to the article.

“Both groups in this study, whether they received patches or not, were interested in quitting,” said Dr. Patricia Folan, director of the Center for Tobacco Control at Northwell Health in Great Neck, N.Y. “Perhaps the receipt of the free patches was the added incentive needed to actually make the attempt and succeed. The patches may have tipped the scales in favor of trying to quit at a time of great readiness for these smokers.”