Smoking tobacco has led to many illnesses and deaths for decades.  A much disputed habit, government agencies continually place pressure on cigarette manufacturers to reveal the truth regarding the dangers of smoking.  While some people quit cold turkey, use meditation, or try the patch, others have tried ‘vaping.’

While debates are open and long-term results are pending, a number of people believe that vaping is helping people quit cigarettes.

Those Who Vape

Based on a survey, most (72%) ‘vapors’ were former cigarette smokers, with 76% smoking e-cigarettes on a daily basis.  An international survey reported that 72% of those who vaporize admitted that smoking e-cigarettes help them deal with cravings and withdrawal symptoms.  92% report reductions in their smoking when using e-cigarettes, and 10% report they still crave tobacco cigarettes though they have switched to e-cigarettes.  More than 2000 former smokers took the survey, and a whopping 96% reported that e-cigarettes did indeed help them to stop smoking.

Other Solutions

As mentioned, traditional smokers seek other ways to kick the habit.  However, most solutions have a negligible success rate, the patch and nicotine gum being two examples.  Those who have battled cigarette addiction have been accustomed to seeing more ‘solutions’ take fruition since the 1980s, when the notion of quitting cigarettes really hit the mainstream, with places of business along with public arenas alienating smokers.

Vice Versa

Some parents and vaping opponents fear vaping may have a vice versa effect, meaning that those who first vape may be more susceptible to starting a tobacco cigarette habit.  A study of high school students published in the Journal American Medical Association shows that those who have tried electronic cigarettes are also likely to try traditional cigarettes.

The research followed more than 2,500 high school students through a six month period.  31% of e-cigarette users tried some other form of tobacco, yet a small number (8%) who did not vape at all tried other forms of tobacco.

A University of London psych professor interjected, pointing out that e-cigarettes did not create smokers of traditional tobacco, but that those who are likely to smoke (anything at all) will be drawn to multiple forms of smoking.  It’s an important insight and opinion, especially since many believe that vapor cigarettes can help smokers stop for good.

More Than a Bit Safer

Advocates of e-cigarettes, featured within, point out that though vaporizers provide nicotine, the addictive ingredient in traditional cigarettes, it’s the burned tobacco that is most harmful to smokers.  E-cigarettes are by no means ‘harmless,’ yet as compared to traditional cigarettes, they are more than a bit better for one’s health.  The British agency, Public Health England, estimate that e-cigarettes are about 95% safer than burned tobacco.

Level of Control

Traditionally, some tobacco smokers try to wean off by simply decreasing the number of cigarettes smoked per day.  While 10 cigarettes is obviously better than smoking an entire pack, each cigarette smoked has the same impact, meaning each one contains the same level of nicotine.  However, those who smoke e-cigarettes can control the amount of nicotine included in each puff.  Such a dynamic may be a key ingredient in the recipe for quitting the habit.

Less Offensive

Ultimately, those who advocate e-cigarettes think that it’s important to keep users from going backwards, continuing to smoke tobacco cigarettes.  The fact that electronic cigarettes emit the smoke but not the smell of traditional cigarettes is a positive.  Moreover, those around an e-cig smoker will not be offended by the smell or feel threatened by second-hand smoke.  All and all, the more positives e-cigarettes introduce, the more likely vapors will stick to e-cigs rather than going back to tobacco cigarettes.

It All Matters

The type of e-cigarette used, how often it is used, and how much nicotine inhaled in each session all matters.  Advocates of e-cigarettes urge researchers not to treat all e-cig users the same.  Another study published in Nicotine and Tobacco Research suggests that those trying to quit are more successful when using refillable tank models.  Such units allow the user to vary the nicotine content along with the flavor.  Only 25% of 587 users had tank models that were used daily.  However, 28% who had such units quit after one year compared to only 13% who did not use such models.

Do e-cigarettes enable smokers to quit for good?  The question is not easy to answer nor is it readily available.  However, many signals point to a positive association between those who have successfully quit and graduated from tobacco cigarettes to e-cigs.

Peter Brown has had training as a herbalist and was once a heavy smoker before being able to quit a few years ago. He likes to write about his efforts to quit smoking and share his tips and ideas online. He writes for several lifestyle and health websites.

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One Comment

  1. Tony Jewell says:

    Vaping should be assessed properly as under medicine regulation system for safety of high doses of nicotine and for the additives. Vaping almost certainly has a role in smoking cessation programmes as it is a good nicotine delivery system. However the battle against tobacco has been 70 years in the making and not won yet with 20% adults still smoking. Big Tobacco are backing e cigarettes massively so no liberalisation on vaping in enclosed public spaces, pubs and restaurants etc as this makes enforcement difficult and would damage the smoke free legislation.

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