A lot of people–including scientists, politicians, jounalists, and even vapers–consider ecigs to be just a new form of NRT. This assumption is the source of many problems. That assumption was what initally prompted me to dismiss ecigs. And it still seems wide spread. A typical question from sceptic smokers is: “Does it help?”
The purpose of a NRT [Nicotine Replacement Therapy: patches, gums, inhalers, …] is total cessation. NRTs are supposed to be just a crutch to reach this goal. To be discarded then.
The main purpose of ecigs is to be a superior alternative to smoking. The added benefit of considerable harm reduction is a nice bonus. Many people want to use them for some kind of cessation. But that’s just an option. Since vaping can be vastly more pleasing, smoking cessation often happens anyway.
So, the question for the efficacy of ecigs used like NRTs might be an interesting one. And it surely can help. But it’s not essential, The only question that really matters is: “Are ecigs a viable alternative to smoking?”–And this question is answered on the free market: They are and people continue to buy them instead of cigarettes.
There is no need to try to optimize the efficacy of ecigs as cessation aids. All that is necessary is not to hinder the natural developement of better consumer products. With better products more smokers will automatically switch to this kind of partial or smoking cessation.