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In this April 11, 2018, photo, an unidentified 15-year-old high school student uses a vaping device near the school's campus in Cambridge, Mass. Health and education officials across the country are raising alarms over wide underage use of e-cigarettes and other vaping products. The devices heat liquid into an inhalable vapor that's sold in sugary flavors like mango and mint — and often with the addictive drug nicotine. VOA

If you are thinking of quitting smoking, electronic cigarettes, commonly known as e-cigarettes, stand a better chance of helping you achieve your goal than nicotine replacement treatments, such as patches and gum, show results of a major clinical trial.

E-cigarettes are almost twice as effective as nicotine replacement treatments at helping smokers to quit, according to a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine.


The trial, which involved almost 900 smokers who also received additional behavioural support, found that 18 per cent of e-cigarette users were smoke-free after a year, compared to 9.9 per cent of participants who were using other nicotine replacement therapies.

“This is the first trial to test the efficacy of modern e-cigarettes in helping smokers quit. E-cigarettes were almost twice as effective as the ‘gold standard’ combination of nicotine replacement products,” said lead researcher Peter Hajek, Professor at Queen Mary University of London.

“Although a large number of smokers report that they have quit smoking successfully with the help of e-cigarettes, health professionals have been reluctant to recommend their use because of the lack of clear evidence from randomised controlled trials. This is now likely to change,” Hajek added.


A woman smokes an electronic cigarette in London, Aug. 19, 2015. VOA

The new study, which was set-up to test the long-term efficacy of newer refillable e-cigarettes compared with a range of nicotine replacement treatments, was conducted among 886 smokers who attended UK National Health Service stop smoking services.

In addition to e-cigarettes being almost twice as effective, the researchers found that e-cigarette participants reported greater decline in incidence of cough and phlegm production after 52 weeks.

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But e-cigarette participants reported more throat/mouth irritation (65.4 per cent vs 50.8 per cent) and nicotine replacement participants reported more nausea (37.8 per cent vs 31.4 per cent), the results showed.

“This is the first study to show the effectiveness of e-cigarettes combined with behavioural support for giving up smoking, and the results are extremely positive,” said Sophia Lowes of Britain-based charity Cancer Research UK. (IANS)


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Indian wrestler Ravi Kumar (57kg) and Deepak Punia (86kg) enjoyed fruitful outings at the Tokyo Olympic Games as they secured semifinal berths in their respective weight categories at the Makuhari Messe on Wednesday.

On the opening day of the wrestling competition, Ravi Kumar defeated Bulgaria's Georgi Vangelov 14-4 on technical superiority to reach the last-four in the men's 57kg category, while compatriot Deepak Punia overcame China's Zushen Lin 6-3 on points to advance to the semifinals.

Ravi Kumar will take on Nurislam Sanayev of Kazakhstan in the last-four, while Punia will be up against David Morris Taylor of the USA.

Earlier, Ravi Kumar had won his opening-round bout by technical superiority against Colombia's Oscar Tigreros to secure a quarterfinal spot. Competing in the Round-of-16 bout against the Colombian wrestler, the 23-year-old Ravi Kumar, who is making his Olympic debut, showed no nerves as he dominated the bout to win by technical superiority (13-2).

Ravi Kumar landed attack after attack and went 13-2 up, winning the bout by technical superiority with minutes to spare. In wrestling, building up a 10-point lead over the opponent results in a victory by technical superiority.

India's 86kg freestyle wrestler Deepak Punia showed no signs of the niggle that had forced him to pull out of the Poland Open Ranking Series in Warsaw in June, as he defeated Nigeria's Ekerekeme Agiomor on technical superiority to secure a quarterfinal berth.

He got his Olympic campaign to a fine start as he was in control from the start of the bout and hardly ever allowed his Nigerian opponent any room to maneuver his moves, finally winning with a 12-1 on technical superiority.

Punia, who had also suffered an elbow injury just before the Games, was slow at the start but came into his own as the bout progressed, inflicting takedowns at regular intervals to earn points.

The Indian wrestler eased into a 4-1 lead at the break and extended his lead comfortably in the second period.

Punia, the silver medallist from the 2019 world wrestling championships, then set up a clash with China's Lin Zushen in the quarterfinals and defeated him 6-3.

(IANS/HP)