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  • E-cigarettes primarily used to quit tobacco: study
    E-cigarettes primarily used to quit tobacco: study Frontier
    Frontier on Friday, April 5, 2013
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    Lifestyle [356]
    Although the long-term health effects of electronic cigarettes are unknown, a new survey finds people who use the devices think of them as a safer alternative to tobacco and a means to break the smoking habit.

    Researchers from the UK surveyed about 1,400 e-cigarette users on the Internet, 76 percent of whom said they started using their devices to replace cigarettes entirely. A much smaller percentage said their goal was to quit smoking or to improve their health.

    One researcher who has studied e-cigarette users said the findings allay fears that people are using the devices to get more nicotine on top of what's already in tobacco cigarettes, instead of for smoking cessation.

    "This study really indicates people are using them specifically to try to quit smoking or try to get off cigarettes. This dual-use idea is simply not a tenable idea anymore," said Boston University's Dr. Michael Siegel, who was not involved in the new research.

    E-cigarettes were first introduced in China in 2004. The battery-powered devices let users inhale nicotine-infused vapors, which don't contain the harmful tar and carbon monoxide in tobacco smoke.

    Lynne Dawkins and her colleagues from the University of East London write in the journal Addiction that there are currently over 100 brands of e-cigarettes, and 3.5 million devices were sold in 2012.

    Despite the devices' growing popularity, the researchers say, little is known about who uses e-cigarettes and why.

    For the new study, they created an Internet survey that was accessible from the websites of two e-cigarette manufacturers from September 2011 to May 2012. The survey took about 15 to 20 minutes to complete.
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