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Vaping to stop smoking? You already know it doesn't really work

November 17, 2021 at 10:00 p.m. | Updated November 18, 2021 at 10:35 a.m.

During the Victorian Era (1837-1901), it was common to say that a woman was having vapors -- a condescending and wildly inaccurate way of attributing everything from menstrual cramps to depression to the "Hysterick Fits" that women were said to suffer.

We've come a long way from those days. But vapers -- that's people who vape -- are still being mistreated, according to a new study in JAMA Network Open. Researchers tracked more than 13,600 sometime smokers and found that going from cigarettes to e-cigs doesn't actually help a person stay off cigarettes, and if it does temporarily, relapse is very common. What e-cigs do is keep you in the same zone of habits -- when you smoke, why you smoke.

As for what does help, another study in JAMA Network found that using either varenicline/nicotine patch combination therapy or varenicline monotherapy resulted in around 24% of folks being able to quit all tobacco. Doubling the "treatment time" that study participants used a varenicline/nicotine patch combination therapy from 12 to 24 weeks also proved to be no more effective than monotherapy in helping folks quit.

As for the nicotine patch alone -- it's effective about 19% of the time and when combined with nicotine gum that goes up to around 25%.

Don't be discouraged. Research shows, the average person tries five to 11 times before quitting tobacco successfully. You will get there. For help, check out "10 Tips to Quit Smoking for Good" at

Mehmet Oz, M.D. is host of "The Dr. Oz Show," and Mike Roizen, M.D. is Chief Wellness Officer Emeritus at Cleveland Clinic.

(c)2021 Michael Roizen, M.D. and Mehmet Oz, M.D.

King Features Syndicate


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