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uMkhonto we Sizwe Exclusive following Jacob Zumas IEC Ruling.

uMkhonto we Sizwe Exclusive following Jacob Zumas IEC Ruling.

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    78 studies and 22,000 research participants prove e-cigarettes help smokers quit successfully

    There is now high certainty of evidence that nicotine e-cigarettes lead to higher success rates for quitting smoking compared to nicotine replacement therapy.
    Source: Pixabay

    This is the latest finding by the Cochrane living review on electronic cigarettes for smoking cessation, the objective of which is to evaluate the safety and effectiveness of using e-cigarettes to help people who smoke achieve long-term smoking abstinence.

    Backed by the National Institute for Health Research and Cancer Research UK, the living review is updated monthly as new data emerges and the latest results include 78 studies encompassing over 22,000 participants.

    Kurt Yeo, founder of Vaping Saved My Life (VSML), a consumer advocacy group which aims to promote tobacco harm reduction through the use of e-cigarettes, says that the Cochrane living review findings affirm the work that VSML is doing.

    Challenging SA's new tobacco bill

    “It is my hope that the South African department of Health and parliament take note of this evidence and amend the Control of Tobacco Products and Electronic Delivery Systems Bill accordingly.”

    He points out that, despite the Bill supposedly seeking to ‘reduce the incidence of tobacco-related illness, disability and death’, it completely ignores mounting scientific evidence that e-cigarettes are effective in helping tobacco smokers quit. “This is being done not only by grouping e-cigarettes together with combustible tobacco products, but also by criminalising their use in some instances.”

    The release of the latest findings of the live systematic review, which commenced in 2012, follows two critical evidence reviews published in October 2022. A secondary analysis of the Cochrane systematic review found that switching from smoking to vaping or dual-use appears to reduce levels of biomarkers of potential harm significantly.

    In the same month, the UK office for health improvement and disparities released the eighth evidence update on nicotine vaping in England. At 1,468 pages, this review is the most comprehensive to date and covers a wide range of evidence, including health risks, prevalence, flavours, nicotine and perceptions.

    This review reaffirms the original statement released in 2015 that vaping poses only a small fraction of the risk of smoking and is at least 95% less harmful than smoking.

    “The potential for vaping to help with smoking cessation has been largely overshadowed by negative media coverage and policies,” notes Yeo. “Because of this, much of the public — including most smokers — now consider e-cigarettes dangerous.

    "Not only has the Cochrane living review proven that this is simply not the case, but that there is absolutely no difference in the ‘adverse events’ between e-cigarettes and the nicotine replacement therapies which have long been lauded as a safer way for smokers to quit.

    "Should the Bill be passed, however, this will be the only avenue available to them., despite their inefficacy compared to vaping.”

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