Questions on the use of nicotine free e-cigs as placebos

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2014-05-09 15:39:02

A recent study on e-cigs in New Zealand used nicotine free electronic cigarettes as a placebo as researchers sought to establish the role that electronic cigarettes can play in smoking cessation. One group of subjects were put on zero-nicotine e-cigs, another was given e-cigarettes with nicotine in them while a third group had nicotine patches only.

Without going into the results of their investigation, there are some queries that arise from their use of e-cigs that have no nicotine as a placebo.

Medically Ineffective And Harmless?

Literary speaking science can only regard something as a placebo if it is truly medically ineffective and harmless to the subjects. When you consider nicotine-free e-cigarettes, do they fit this bill?

There are many question marks that various people are raising about various constituents of electronic cigarettes. Many say that even if propylene glycol (PG) has for long been approved for use in a wide array of consumer products, nothing has been done to reassure the public that there is no harm in vaporizing it. There have been cases of allergic reactions to PG and that surely counts as a harmful effect.

By using zero-nic e-cigs as placebos, the Auckland scientists may have taken a stand that may not yet be justifiable on the basis of information currently available (or not available, if you are one of those that say not enough is known about e-cigs).

Is Nicotine The Only Variable To Smoking?

The other grey area to this study is the implication that nicotine is the major player in smoking and addiction to cigarettes. There are many factors involved in this habit ranging from the physical rituals (hand to mouth motions, issues of interacting with other smokers, inhaling and exhaling the smoke, holding the cigarette to the mouth, etc) to the physiological effects of smoking (what chemical changes take place in the body of a smoker when they inhale cigarette smoke).

To look at nicotine as the sole factor in the smoking or vaping habit is to oversimplify matters and that raises serious questions about how much weight should be given to the findings that you come up with.

A Word In Favour Of The Auckland Scientists.

Tobacco cigarettes have been around for several decades and yet despite all that time very little is known about all the constituents that go into making them such a powerfully addictive substance.

Compared to tobacco cigarettes, electronic cigarettes have relatively few constituents and there is so much that is known about them in the short time that they have been around. The Auckland scientists can therefore be cut some slack when they take the bold step of sticking their necks out in order to shed a little more light on an aspect of e-cigs that is still unknown.

There has to be a starting point to any inquiring and by having some elements that are questioned, there is room created for additional investigation by future scientists. In that way, we can take away what good this particular research brings and then thank them for opening the eyes of other researchers to the ground that they have not covered.




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