Electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) may be as effective as nicotine patches in helping people quit smoking for at least 6 months, and they proved better than the patches at reducing cigarette consumption in smokers who were not able to quit (Bullen C et al. Lancet. doi:10.1016/S0140-673661842-5 [published online September 9, 2013]).
In a study led by researchers at the University of Auckland in New Zealand and funded by the Health Research Council of New Zealand, 657 smokers were randomized to 3 groups and given a 13-week supply of either e-cigarettes (containing 16-mg nicotine), nicotine patches (21 mg), or placebo e-cigarettes. After 6 months, 7.3% in the e-cigarette group had quit smoking, compared with 5.8% of those given patches and 4.1% of those in the placebo group—differences that were not statistically significant.
Slomski A. e-Cigarettes Match Nicotine Patches in Smoking Quit Rates. JAMA. 2013;310(16):1665. doi:10.1001/jama.2013.280477