E-Cigarettes vs. Nicotine Patches

Studies show that e-cigarettes might hold a higher success rate as a smoking cessation aid than quitting cold turkey, nicotine gum, and nicotine patches.

e-cigs vs patches

In the past, smokers faced a daunting question when it came to quitting smoking: How do you successfully quit?

The adverse effects of smoking are well known, yet the addictive qualities of traditional analog cigarettes have proven a formidable foe.  Quitting smoking has been the focus of numerous New Year’s resolutions, only to fail time and time again. When it comes to taking the leap, there are several severely limited methods from which to choose.


  1. Quitting cold turkey. As many have come to find, this is one of the most difficult ways to quit smoking. In fact, it has proven impossible for many.
  2. Nicotine gum. According to WebMD, and as its name describes, the gum contains small amounts of nicotine. This is supposed to ease your nicotine cravings when chewed. However, the small traces of nicotine is not enough to fully subdue the craving to smoke. It also does not address the “habit” aspect of smoking.
  3. Nicotine patches. This method is based on sticking a large circular patch onto your skin – usually the upper arm. It is noted by WebMD that it releases nicotine in metered doses directly onto the skin where it absorbed into the bloodstream. This method also entails having a patch stuck to your body and does not address the aspect of smoking relating to the “habit”.

The “habit” of smoking is the actual actions your body makes during smoking. Having the cigarette between your fingers, the cigarette in your mouth, the inhaling and exhaling of the smoke. This aspect is the primary reason why these methods do not hold a high success rate or fail to work altogether. In fact, studies have shown that nicotine gum has a higher success rate than quitting cold turkey and that patches hold a higher success rate than that of nicotine gum. However, even at its highest margin of success, patches only resulted in a total 8.2% success rate for quitting smoking.

Electronic Cigarettes: Brief Overview

Electronic cigarettes, or e-cigarettes, are cigarette simulation apparatuses which combine the natural actions of smoking with the nicotine levels of your choice. They produce thick, rich nicotine-infused water vapor or mist which allows the user to enjoy the same smoking experience, without the 600 toxic ingredients and the subsequent 7,000 chemicals which are produced through the act of combustion (American Lung Association).

With numerous makes and models, e-cigarettes simulate the smoking experience. It is a nicotine replacement system which allows the user to experience a different type of nicotine inhalation. They provide the same satisfaction, and continue by allowing the user greater control over the amount of nicotine they are actually consuming.

Further, the products do not rely on any form of combustion, which also produces large quantities of carbon monoxide. Instead, they rely on a heated coil which converts the flavored nicotine liquid into vapor, or mist. This is a highly coveted aspect of e-cigarettes among its millions of users. The vapor simulates, by look and feel, the smoke from an analogue cigarette.

Comparative Study

There are ongoing studies into the use of electronic cigarettes, but there is now evidence from a study in the UK which shows that e-cigarette use might have a 60% higher success rate for quitting smoking, compared to the patch, gum, or attempting to quit cold turkey.

A new study finds that, among people who are trying to quit without professional help, those who use electronic cigarettes are 60% more likely to succeed, compared with those who use willpower or nicotine replacement therapies.Medical News Today

This study was released May, 2014.


To date, there has been no conclusive evidence submitted that demonstrates any form of adverse effects related to the use of e-cigarettes. More and more, studies are proving more information about the devices, and how they can successfully assist people in achieving their goals.

Published: January 29, 2015 Updated: August 27, 2019



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One comment on “E-Cigarettes vs. Nicotine Patches

  • Pat

    August 17, 2018 at 12:33 am

    Can u smoke 6 mg e cig on the patches