e-cigarettesThe use of e-cigarettes (vaping) is becoming more common, it seems like almost everywhere you go these days somebody is puffing on such a device. You might even find a meeting where vaping is permitted, although it would seem that before long their use will be relegated to outside use only. While e-cigarettes are still in their infancy, with little research into the health benefits/costs, there are some preliminary findings that are worth sharing; considering that many active 12-step program members are either smoking traditional tobacco or have begun substituting tobacco with the use of e-cigarettes.

New research suggests that the use of e-cigarettes may dramatically reduce tobacco cravings, Time reports. Researchers concluded that e-cigarettes may help smokers reduce the number of cigarettes they smoke or aid them in quitting tobacco completely.

The findings come from a small study, conducted by researchers at the University of Leuven in Belgium, which included 48 smoker participants who were not trying to quit. The research team divided the participants into three groups and monitored them through a website where participants could log their use of e-cigarettes and traditional cigarettes, according to the article.

Two of the groups were allowed to use both e-cigarettes and tobacco cigarettes for the first two months. The third group only smoked tobacco cigarettes for the first two months, but then was allowed to use e-cigarettes for the following months.

After eight months, participants in every group reduced their tobacco cigarette use, number of cigarettes/per day, by 60 percent. What’s more, 23 percent of participants reported a 50 percent reduction in the number of tobacco cigarettes they smoked. Nearly a quarter of the participants, 21 percent, reported to have had stopped smoking tobacco altogether.

“All the groups showed similar results after we introduced the e-cigs,” lead researcher Frank Baeyens said in a news release. “With guidance on practical use, the nicotine e-cig offers many smokers a successful alternative for smoking less – or even quitting altogether. E-cig users get the experience of smoking a cigarette and inhale nicotine vapor, but do not suffer the damaging effects of a tobacco cigarette.”

The findings were published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health.