Cancer Research UK logoA new US study that made the claim that tobacco smokers who don’t use electronic cigarettes are more likely to stop smoking than those who do use them has been refuted by the wider scientific community, with experts including Professor Linda Bauld from Cancer Research UK, at the very least cautious of the results.

Conducted by researchers from the University of California, San Francisco, the study centred on the findings of 38 e-cigarette use studies from around the world, concluding that smokers who use the “vaping” devices were 28 per cent less likely to successfully give up smoking tobacco compared to those not using e-cigarettes.

“While there is no question that a puff on an e-cigarette is less dangerous than a puff on a conventional cigarette, the most dangerous thing about e-cigarettes is that they keep people smoking conventional cigarettes.” co-author Stanton Glantz said in a statement issued by the university.

However a number of experts have been quick to point out that the study contains a huge amounts of limitation, with the conclusions being labelled at best “preliminary” and “incorrect” but at worst “grossly misleading”, by Professor Peter Hajek, Director of the Tobacco Dependence Research Unit at Queen Mary University of London.

Professor Linda Bauld, Cancer Research UK said that “Despite being wide-ranging the paper's conclusions are tentative and sometimes incorrect.”

She went on to explain that the studies included in the review were too different in design to directly compare and many don't include adequate measures of use or cessation.

Cancer Research UK also asserted: ‘Further, some of the devices they included are no longer available on the market, some relevant literature is excluded and the way some of the studies are set up means they miss the people who have succeeded in quitting using e-cigarettes.’

“We should be very cautious about assuming that this review tells us that e-cigarettes don't help smokers quit. Other evidence suggests they do - and this is particularly relevant for the UK where smoking rates have continued to decrease as e-cigarette use has increased,” Professor Bauld concluded.

This study comes at a time when a huge proportion of tobacco reduction and prevention scientists are demonstrating the exact opposite of this studies results; including ground-breaking reports by Public Health England, the Society for the study of Addiction and Cancer Research UK.

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