Smokers are much more likely to quit smoking if they vape every day

Smokers are much more likely to quit smoking if they vape every day

Vaping (using electronic cigarettes) helps smokers quit smoking. This matters because unlike cigarette smoke, the vapor produced by e-cigarettes does not cause cancer or kill lots of people. Research shows that “widespread switching from smoking to vaping would prevent between 1.6 million and 6.6 million premature deaths by 2100.”

A December 28 study of smokers who initially had no intention to quit provides clear evidence that e-cigarettes (which emit vapor, rather than smoke) help people give up smoking. The study’s authors found that people who vaped every day were eight times as likely to quit smoking as those who did not use e-cigarettes. They reported their findings this week in JAMA Open Network.

“These findings are paradigm-shifting, because the data suggest that vaping may actually help people who are not actively trying to quit smoking,” noted study co-author Andrew Hyland, who heads the Department of Health Behavior at Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center. “Most other studies focus exclusively on people who are actively trying to quit smoking, but this study suggests that we may be missing effects of e-cigarettes by not considering this group of smokers with limited intention to stop smoking—a group that is often at the highest risk for poor health outcomes from cigarette smoking.”

Hyland and his co-authors analyzed data from four waves of the Population Assessment of Tobacco and Health (PATH) Study. They followed 1,600 adults who initially were smoking every day, were not vaping at all, and “did not plan to ever quit cigarettes or tobacco for good.” Eight in ten of these respondents smoked 10 or more cigarettes per day, while half smoked a pack or more. 6.2% of them had ceased smoking by the end of the five-year study period. The quit rate among respondents who became daily e-cigarette users was 28 percent, compared to 5.8 percent among respondents who did not use e-cigarettes at all.

Daily e-cigarette users were also a lot more likely to reduce their smoking even when they did not quit smoking. Afterwards, 45.5% of them were no longer smoking every day, compared to 9.9% of those who never tried e-cigarettes.

Earlier research also found that smokers who started out with no intention to quit are more likely to quit if they begin using electronic cigarettes every day.

Yet another study, reported in the New England Journal of Medicine, found that people who used e-cigarettes were 82 percent more likely to quit smoking than subjects who used other smoking alternatives such as nicotine patches and gum.

“A growing body of evidence indicates that vaping can foster smoking cessation,” noted David J.K. Balfour and 14 other leading tobacco researchers in the American Journal of Public Health.

“E-cigarettes could replace much or most of cigarette consumption in the U.S.,” said William T. Godshall, the head of Smokefree Pennsylvania. His group had campaigned in the past for smoke-free public vicinities, higher cigarette taxes, and cigarette pack graphic warnings. Godshall said that vaping is vastly safer than smoking: He rated e-cigarettes a 2 or lower on a scale of harm ranging 1 to 100, where lozenges and nicotine gums are 1 and cigarettes are 100.

LU Staff

LU Staff

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