Most of the time e-cigarettes make the news when they are associated with something negative, so you can imagine how thrilled I was to find this Science Daily article about how electronic cigarettes can help workers’ memory while they try to kick the smoking habit.
Researchers at the University of East London, led by Dr. Lynne Dawkins, conducted a study on the effectiveness of e-cigarettes during the withdrawal period. As you probably know, if smokers decides to quit tobacco cigarettes without the help of any nicotine replacement therapy, they experience all kinds of physical and emotional symptoms that in 90% of cases causes them to relapse. This particular study aimed to reveal more useful information on the effects of using e-cigarettes during this tough period.
The research was conducted on a group of 85 regular smokers, both men and women. During testing, they were randomly given an e-cigarette with nicotine or a placebo, or simply asked to hold a vaporizer without using it. After five minutes, the subjects were asked to complete a mood and cravings questionnaire. After an additional 20 minutes of using e-cigarettes, they were asked to complete the questionnaire again. Also, 60 of the 85 participants were asked to complete a working memory task. By performing this test, researchers hope to gain more insights on how effective electronic cigarettes are for men and women, and how they affect their cravings and emotional state.
The results of Dawkin’ s team showed nicotine e-cigarettes helped men more than women in terms of reducing cravings and improving their mood, while the placebo was just as effective as the nicotine devices, for women. In the working memory test, e-cigarettes with nicotine helped both men and women maintain working memory, compared to smokers in other groups. “Perhaps more significantly, we found that e-cigarettes with nicotine help maintain working memory in smokers who have not smoked for an hour or two. People who choose to stop smoking without using a nicotine substitute may therefore suffer a period during which their working memory levels dip until their bodies adjust to the reduced levels of nicotine. E-cigarettes seem to be effective at reducing this problem for men and women”, Dr. Hawkins said.
Just last month, John Britton, chairman of the Royal College of Physicians Tobacco Advisory Group, also made some positive comments on electronic cigarettes, saying they have the potential to save lives. They should be better regulated, it’s true, but it seems all US authorities want to do these days is ban them completely.
The University of East London did not receive any incentives of sponsorship from any electronic cigarette company, just the devices used during the research and a small grant to allow researchers to travel to a conference and present their findings.