Study casts doubt on effectiveness of e-cigs for smoking cessation

A study found no evidence that smokers who used e-cigarettes and other electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS) in the United States were more likely to quit smoking cigarettes than smokers who do not use these products. The study, looking at 2015-2016 data, found that 90 percent of people who used both ENDS and traditional cigarettes (dual users) were still smoking one year later. The research was conducted by researchers at the School of Public Health at Georgia State University and funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), part of the National Institutes of Health, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Center for Tobacco Products.

While eighty-eight percent of people who used both ENDS and traditional cigarettes (dual users) reported that quitting smoking was an “important reason” for using ENDS and forty-six percent reported they tried to “completely quit” smoking during the one-year study, only nine percent reported having quit at follow-up. More than half continued to smoke traditional cigarettes and use ENDS (dual use), and more than 37 percent were still smoking, but discontinued ENDS. The authors did find that users of ENDS were more likely to try to quit smoking than those who did not use ENDS. However, this did not translate to greater success with quitting smoking compared to smokers who did not use ENDS.

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Smokers at greater risk of hearing loss

Smoking is associated with increased risk of hearing loss, according to a study of over 50,000 participants over 8 years in Nicotine & Tobacco Research, published by Oxford University Press.

Researchers analyzed data from annual health checkups, which included audio testing performed by a technician and a health-related lifestyle questionnaire completed by each participant. They examined the effects of smoking status (current, former, and never smokers), the number of cigarettes smoked per day, and the duration of smoking cessation on the extent of hearing loss. Even after adjusting for factors including occupational noise exposure, researchers noted a 1.2 to 1.6 increased risk of hearing loss among current smokers compared with never smokers.

While the association between smoking and high-frequency hearing loss was stronger than that of low-frequency hearing loss, the risk of both high- and low-frequency hearing loss increased with cigarette consumption. The increased risk of hearing loss decreased within 5 years after quitting smoking.

Full story at Science Daily