Vaping helps users quit smoking

Henrietta Brewer
February 2, 2019

The American Council on Science and Health notes that, "Unlike nicotine gums and patches, vaping, colloquially called e-cigarettes, mimics numerous mechanisms of cigarette smoking, making them less psychologically stressful while easing people off of the nicotine that kept them smoking". However, the e-cigarette group were nearly twice as successful, with an abstinence rate of 18%.

A new report from the American Lung Association finds Florida needs to do more to reduce tobacco use statewide. A study cited by the National Institutes of Health showed that e-cigarettes do generate second-hand exposure to nicotine, but do not generate any second-hand exposure to the toxicants found in combustible tobacco.

The researchers followed the participants for one year and during that time they recorded participants' smoking habits, ratings of e-cigarette or nicotine replacement products, withdrawal symptoms, and any adverse reactions to the cessation methods.

A total of 8.6% reported e-cigarettes as their first tobacco product, while 5.0% reported using another non-cigarette product first (3.3% reported using cigarettes first). Despite the absence of tobacco in e-cigarettes, there has been no research performed on long-term effects of vaping and its chemicals.

Juul is one of the most popular e-cigarette companies, and many University of OR students said that it's nearly impossible to escape the Juul epidemic on campus because they see them everywhere.

"Although a large number of smokers report that they have quit smoking successfully with the help of e-cigarettes, health professionals have been reluctant to recommend their use because of the lack of clear evidence from randomised controlled trials".

Overall, adolescents who used e-cigarettes before trying any other tobacco products were more than four times as likely to be smoking traditional cigarettes within a couple of years compared to those who had never tried any type of vaping device or non-cigarette tobacco products, the study team reports in JAMA Network Open. To objectively measure their progress, they also had their breathing levels of carbon monoxide (a common toxin in cigarette smoke that lingers in exhaled air) monitored.

The report was released on the same day as a separate study by the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health that found common e-cigarette flavors may harm users' lungs.

By the 52nd week, 18 per cent of the e-cigarette group was still off cigarettes, compared to 9.9 per cent of the standard treatment group.

Additional support was provided to study participants through anti-smoking counseling and recruitment from a government smoking-cessation program.

There has been some opposition to the idea of vaping to quit smoking.

The new study is "another piece of evidence adding that we need urgently the FDA to take meaningful action to prevent e-cigarette use and tobacco use among our most vulnerable, our teenagers", Sadreameli said.

The researchers concluded that this finding "raises concerns that e-cigarettes may re-normalize smoking behaviors and erode decades of progress in reducing smoking among youths". These devices now often have more nicotine and come in a more convenient form than the first-generation vaping devices.

What's more, 80% of those in the study's e-cig group were still using e-cigs at the one-year mark.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has more about e-cigarettes and teenagers.

Myers' group is one of several anti-smoking organizations suing the FDA to immediately begin reviewing e-cigarettes.

"We know that if we can keep our youth from starting to smoke, and particularly over the age of 21, we know that they're not likely to become addicted to the substance, and they're not likely to become regular, daily smokers", Strother said.

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