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Could the Juul help people quit smoking?
In the United States, the debate rages on about the pros and cons of the Juul. Indeed, the market leader in electronic cigarette is once again in the FDA’s crosshairs. But a new independent study (financed by Juul) is trying to show that it is an effective nicotine substitute, despite myriad doubts.
The company sought out to answer a simple question: can Juul help smokers reduce their smoking habits? The company sponsored an external study to try and clarify this question, and initial results are positive, as numerous e-cigarette users surveyed said they reduced their tobacco consumption.
Sociologist Neil McKeganey, the study’s lead researcher, worked with the American website Business Insider. According to him, between 30% and 40% of Juul users stopped smoking tobacco after 90 days, an exciting example of the effectiveness of e-cigarettes … if the study is indeed legitimate.
Results taken with a grain of salt
Numerous people immediately spoke out against the study’s conclusions. First, the study was not observed in any clinical sense, and relies on the voluntary responses of some 8000 e-cigarette users whose statements are thus not verifiable.
Neil McKeganey is also notorious for having carried out previous studies that painted Big Tobacco in a positive light, and Marlboro recently purchased 35% of Juul’s shares, which brings up the question: can this study be considered independent and objective?
Numerous researchers, including Robert Jackler from Stanford University, remain skeptical about the accuracy of the study, which was not published in a serious academic journal and is not supported by any scientific proof. Also, the risk of dual-usage (Juul and cigarettes) is yet another problem not properly addressed by the study’s researchers.
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