Evidently Advent Day 17: best health evidence wrapped up for the festive season!

What’s the latest word?


The Oxford Dictionaries Word of the Year is vape. The verb means ‘to inhale and exhale he vapour produced by an electronic cigarette or similar device’. Both the device and the action can be known as a vape and the associated noun vaping is also listed.

But can electronic cigarettes help smokers quit?

There’s huge interest in a new Cochrane review, published today (and here’s the press release), which has found emerging evidence that electronic cigarettes may help smokers stop or reduce their smoking, but the results need to be confirmed by more studies. The review authors are aware of several ongoing studies that should help answer the question.

The review draws on two randomised controlled trials with 662 people, which found that nicotine-containing electronic cigarettes were more effective than electronic cigarettes without nicotine (placebo) in helping smokers quit. No serious adverse effects occurred. Confidence in the results is limited by the small number of trials but the results are encouraging.

Evidently Cochrane has been shortlisted as one of the top 10 health organisation blogs in the UK Blog Awards 2015! Do take a look at the site – we hope there are blogs here to interest everyone. You can also follow us – and talk to us – on Twitter @ukcochranecentr and @SarahChapman30


McRobbie H, Bullen C, Hartmann-Boyce J, Hajek P. Electronic cigarettes for smoking cessation and reduction.Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2014, Issue 12. Art. No.: CD010216. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD010216.pub2.

BBC News Health: E-cigarettes help smokers quit or cut down.17 December 2014

Sarah Chapman

About Sarah Chapman

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Sarah's work as a Knowledge Broker at Cochrane UK focuses on disseminating Cochrane evidence through social media, including Evidently Cochrane blogs, blogshots and the ‘Evidence for Everyday’ series for nurses, midwives, allied health professionals and patients. A former registered general nurse, Sarah has a particular interest making evidence accessible and useful to practitioners and to others making decisions about health. Before joining Cochrane, Sarah also worked on systematic reviews for the University of Oxford and the Royal College of Nursing Institute, and obtained degrees in History from the University of Oxford and in the history of women’s health and illness in early modern England (MPhil., University of Reading).

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