Completely cutting out tobacco is one of the best things you can do for your health and life expectancy. Whether quitting is achieved with the assistance of nicotine replacement therapy or (less commonly) through sheer will power, ex-smokers have done a great service to themselves and others by kicking the habit. Unfortunately, as every smoker knows all too well, quitting is no easy feat.
In an attempt to eventually quit smoking there are those who are looking to cut down on cigarettes by using electronic cigarettes and reducing their cigarette consumption simultaneously. Anti-smoking groups warn against dual use and argue that reducing the number of cigarettes smoked per day provides no health benefits.
The journal Nicotine and Tobacco Research published a study examining the correlation between reducing cigarette consumption and complete smoking cessation. The authors of this study were seeking to discover if increases in smoking cessation are due to nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) or if reductions in the number of cigarettes per day (CPD) in and of itself leads to cessation.
According to the study the results are as follows: …”every one percent decrease in CPD or carbon monoxide was associated with a 3% to 4% increase in the odds of cessation. The naturalistic studies found that ordinal (e.g., quartile) increases in participants’ magnitude of reduction in CPD were associated with 50% to 290% increases in the odds of cessation.” These findings suggest “reduction in CPD is a mechanism of increased cessation in prior NRT-aided reduction studies.”
Anti-smoking and public health groups’ warnings against dual use may discourage smokers who are attempting to quit smoking by supplementing the number of cigarettes smoked with using an e-cigarette. Perpetuating the lie that electronic cigarettes are no better for you than smoking may cause smokers to give up on their reduction attempts and return to tobacco cigarettes. However, these findings suggest that reducing the number of cigarettes smoked per day may be an effective way of achieving the ultimate goal of complete smoking cessation.