More Vaping Means Less Smoking, Research Finds
In the ongoing battle to kick the deadly tobacco habit for good, there’s some more good news for the e-cigarette. According to the findings of a major new study, smokers who vape on a regular basis are more likely to ditch tobacco.
Many people are being drawn to e-cigarettes as a way to try and wean themselves off toxic tobacco. Those who keep on vaping have a higher chance of success, the study in the journal Addictive Behaviors found.
Indeed, it said that while the rates of cigarette smoking are falling, there is a corresponding rise in the number of people using e-cigarettes. So, researchers set out to discover how e-cigarettes are being used and if they were helping people to stop smoking.
Boosted by the ease with which people can now get e-cigarettes and their e-liquid refills from an online vape shop, the study found that more than half of people who vaped daily managed to quit smoking in the past five years. People who used e-cigs daily were also three times more likely to stop smoking than those who had never vaped. Some daily vapers, however, were the least likely to quit smoking, the researchers also found.
Equally importantly in terms of kicking the cigarette habit, the study, which was funded by the US National Institutes of Health, discovered that people were using e-cigs to prevent a relapse and start smoking all over again. Frequent use of e-cigarettes — and all the many e-juice flavors available from a vape shop — were key to staying off tobacco for good.
“Among those with a recent history of smoking, daily e-cigarette use was the strongest correlate of being quit at the time of the survey, suggesting that some smokers may have quit with frequent e-cigarette use or are using the products regularly to prevent smoking relapse,” the study’s authors concluded.
Vaping “Almost Harmless”
Giving people yet more reason to visit an online vape shop and and finally stop smoking, separate research showed that vaping is virtually harmless compared to cigarettes. Researchers discovered that, when properly used, vaping devices and the e-liquid they contain are up to 99% less harmful than tobacco.
In the study published in the prestigious BMJ, a team of scientists at the University of St Andrews in Scotland sought to discover if vaping would be more beneficial to public health than smoking tobacco. They found that the only real risk with vaping was when too much power was delivered to vaping devices’ atomiser coils — so-called “high-voltage” vaping that may release carcinogens.
By contrast, burning tobacco — and the ingredients added to cigarettes to make smoking more enjoyable — is known to contain thousands of chemicals, at least 70 of which can cause cancer. Nicotine and the “hit” it produces is what smokers are after, but tobacco also contains such frightening substances as hydrogen cyanide, lead, arsenic and carbon monoxide. It may even contain radioactive materials absorbed by the tobacco plant from the soil it grew in.
E-cigarettes contain different levels of nicotine, but without the addition of those dangerous substances. Some contain no nicotine at all and are frequently used purely as a hand-to-mouth action replacement for cigarettes, or a kind of social status or “cool factor“.
The study on the harmful effects of vaping compared to smoking concluded: “Optimal combinations of device settings, liquid formulation and vaping behaviour normally result in e-cigarette emissions with much less carcinogenic potency than tobacco smoke.” It said even though “there are circumstances in which the cancer risks of e-cigarette emissions can escalate, sometimes substantially … [t]hese circumstances are usually avoidable when the causes are known.”