Electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) may actually hinder, not help, cigarette smokers when it comes to quitting. A study published in the American Journal of Public Health has found that smokers who use e-cigarettes are less likely to reduce cigarette use and quit smoking compared to smokers who have never used e-cigarettes.

Wael Al-Delaimy, MD, PhD, of the University of California, San Diego, and colleagues conducted a population-based study of 1,000 smokers in California who were evaluated over the course of one year on smoking cessation, cigarette use, and e-cigarette use. Contrary to their hypothesis, the researchers discovered that cigarette smokers who used e-cigarettes were 49% less likely to reduce cigarette use and 59% less likely to quit smoking vs. never-users. In addition, daily smokers and women were more likely to have used e-cigarettes.

RELATED: E-Cig Ads May Also Influence Current, Former Tobacco Smokers

It is proposed that because smokers are receiving an increase in nicotine dose by using e-cigarettes, it may be more difficult for these individuals to quit. California state health officer Ron Chapman, MD, MPH, is advising residents to avoid the use of e-cigarettes due to concerns about their product safety and potential health risks.

For more information visit UCSD.edu.