For long time proponents of e-cigarettes as a tool for smokers to quit nicotine addictions, a new study has revealed e-cigarettes may increase the risk of users being less likely to stop smoking.
The findings of a study which were published recently in the American Journal of Public Health claimed those who used e-cigarettes were more likely to continue smoking than those who had not used the device.
The study was led by lead researcher Dr. Wael Al-Delaimy, who heads the Global Public Health Department at the University of California's San Diego School of Medicine.
Dr. Al-Delaimy and his team monitored the smoking behaviours of a 1,000 smokers in California.
Researchers of the study found that those who used e-cigarettes were more than 50 percent likely to continue smoking than individuals who hadn't used an e-cigarette.
Also, Dr. Al-Delaimy told WebMD that the study was based on the idea that those who used e-cigarettes were using it for the main purpose of the cessation of smoking. He said the study's hypothesis was based on the belief that the e-cigarettes could be more successful in helping smokers quit.
"One hypothesis is that smokers are receiving an increase in nicotine dose by using e-cigarettes," Dr. Al-Delaimy said.
However, the findings of the study Dr. Al-Delaimy told the publication revealed the exact opposite.
While the study suggests that those who use e-cigarettes are at a potentially higher risk of not being able to quit, Dr. Al-Delaimy said in its abstarct more studies needed to be done to answer 'why' quitting was hard for e-cigarette users.
Anti-smoking researchers believe the study's findings cast a doubt on the ability of e-cigarettes to contribute towards the cessation of smoking in users at all.
Director of the Center for Tobacco Control at the North Shore-LIJ Health System in New York, Patricia Folan said that the results of the study indicated the potential to increase the risk of smoking among e-cigarette users.
Folan said the misinformation or the knowledge gap about e-cigarettes was largely being spread by those in the e-cigarette industry with a dearth of scientific information being made available to the public.