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USPSTF: Not Enough Data on E-Cigarettes As Cessation Aid

More and better data is needed, U.S. Preventive Services Task Force says

TUESDAY, May 5, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- There's not enough data to decide whether or not electronic cigarettes can help smokers quit, according to the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF).

E-cigarette use is continuing to boom in popularity across the United States, and some proponents of the device say it provides a safer alternative to cigarettes and a potential bridge to quitting. However, the USPSTF said there simply isn't enough good research for the panel to make a decision about whether e-cigarettes are a good idea for adults who wish to stop smoking.

The USPSTF recommends behavioral therapy and federally approved medications, such as nicotine replacement treatments, for most adults who want to stop smoking. The exception: pregnant women. For them, the task force recommends behavioral therapy alone.

In any case, doctors "should ask all patients whether they smoke, and provide appropriate interventions to help smokers quit," task force member Francisco Garcia, M.D., M.P.H., said in a USPSTF news release. "We're fortunate that doctors and patients have a choice of many interventions that have been proven to be effective," he said. The task force will accept public comment on its recommendations until June 1.

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