A remarkable study looking at the effectiveness of reduced risk tobacco alternatives to help persons suffering from schizophrenia (who have smoking rates at over three times the general population) was  released today – and the results are nothing short of astounding. Authored by Professor Riccardo Polosa and released today in the prestigious academic journal Nicotine & Tobacco Research, published by Oxford University Press the study tracked the effectiveness of high nicotine JUUL e-cigarettes (which lawmakers in a number of states are presently trying to ban) in helping these vulnerable persons quit smoking when they initially had no desire to do so:

Some 40% of participants had stopped smoking traditional cigarettes by the end of 12 weeks. Researchers observed an overall, sustained 50% reduction in smoking or complete smoking abstinence in 92.5% of participants at the end of 12 weeks. Researchers also observed an overall 75% reduction in median daily cigarette consumption from 25 to 6, by the end of the 12 weeks.

After six months, 24 weeks after the study began, 35% of participants had completely stopped smoking conventional tobacco cigarettes, while continuing to use e-cigarettes. Researchers here also measured a significant decrease in daily cigarette consumption was also confirmed at the end of 24 weeks. The study’s authors report that 57.5% of participants reduced their cigarette usage by over 50%.

Additionally, researchers found that participants’ mean blood pressure, heart rate and weight measurably decreased between the start of the study and the 12-week follow up. Positive and negative symptoms of schizophrenia were not significantly different after using e-cigarettes throughout the whole duration of the study. At the end of the study 61.9% of participants reported feeling more awake, less irritable, and experiencing greater concentration, and reduced hunger.

This study is yet the latest evidence that e-cigarettes are vital to helping the most vulnerable in our society, and how ill-conceived bans and regulations (such as nicotine concentration caps) will end up costing lives.