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Irish Cancer Society: If you are on the E-cigs you may be making your addiction worse

HealthBy Sean Nolan
Study into E-cigarettes suggests they are not an aid to quitting
Study into E-cigarettes suggests they are not an aid to quitting

A study conducted by the Irish Cancer Society has cast doubt on how useful e-cigarettes are in helping smokers quit.

The survey, conducted in March, found that using e-cigarettes may in fact increase smokers dependence on nicotine as the lack of regulation is creating the potential for long-term use.

They studied 1,150 people and they found that e-cigarettes are now used by 210,000 people in Ireland but 2/3s of those using them also used other tobacco products at the same time.

"This survey clearly shows that right now e-cigarettes are not a quitting aid as some people are led to believe,” says Kathleen O’Meara, Head of Advocacy and Communications for the irish Cancer Society (ICS).

“E-cigarettes are becoming an increasingly popular choice for smokers looking for a healthier lifestyle and to save money. But there are better, more proven ways to quit smoking than choosing devices that still have no regulations in Ireland.”

The study also showed that five per cent of people currently smoking started after using e-cigarettes and the potential for them to become a 'gateway' drug for cigarettes was also highlighted by the ICS as a cause for concern.

Currently, e-cigarettes are not regulated as a medicinal product by the Department of Health, and the ICS have called on the Department to do so to bring it in line with other Nicotine Replacement Therapies.

“If e-cigarettes are to be considered a quitting aid in the future, they need to be properly regulated by the Department of Health," said O'Meara. "We are calling for them to be designated as a medicinal device in the same way nicotine patches and gum are now. Ireland is lagging behind on bringing in such laws. Austria, Sweden and Denmark have all introduced legislation making nicotine-containing e-cigarettes medicinal products.

“Nicotine is addictive and giving up is tough. There are more effective treatments that have been proven to increase your chances of quitting up to four times. E-cigarettes are not one of them.”