There has been a lot of debate about whether or not switching to electronic cigarettes and vaping can help smokers of traditional tobacco cigarettes quit the deadly habit. Let’s examine in-depth and see why more and more smokers are turning into vapers, for good.
As we trudged back into work for the first time in 2016, you inevitably fielded the same old questions from your co-workers while making idle chit-chat. How was your New Year’s? Did you make it to midnight? What are your resolutions? That last one is undoubtedly the most common one, and for good reason. The idea of viewing the new year as a clean slate to try and improve upon the previous year dates back all the way to the ancient Babylonians, whose empire predated the birth of Christ by a thousand years or more. It’s been an ingrained part of much of the world’s collective consciousness for millennia. Without question, most of the resolutions made are about personal health – losing weight, moving around more and/or leading a less sedentary life, and quitting smoking. We’ve known the dangers of smoking for decades, and although obesity is quickly catching up to it, tobacco smoking is still the leading cause of preventable deaths worldwide. Most of us know we need to quit, but it’s incredibly difficult – take it from yours truly (who just passed his own 8 year anniversary of being completely smoke free this New Year’s, thank you very much). You need all the help you can get. Gums, patches, and even prescription drugs like Chantix can be an assistance (although looking at the side effects of Chantix is kind of scary), but none offer the same “feel” of smoking. When you smoke, you develop patterns – even the physical motion of drawing a cigarette up to your mouth and the feel of it on your lips while inhaling become addictive in their own way. It’s a big reason why gums, patches, and pills don’t work for a lot of people (more on that later).
Enter Vaping and Electronic Cigarettes
Using an e-cig or vaping mod provides all of the intangibles that smokers desire – inhaling, blowing “smoke” (vapor in this case), mouth feel, etc. – while providing a fraction of the carcinogens and toxins contained in cigarette smoke. Is that to say vaping is 100% safe? No – but more and more studies are showing it’s dramatically safer than smoking. For many smokers who have tried numerous times to quit smoking over the years, the recent rise of vaping has been a godsend – it is the first product to provide adjustable levels of nicotine depending on your personal usage AND give the intangibles of smoking. Coincidentally, the rise in vaping almost directly correlates to the lower smoking levels in America, but as any science fan knows – correlation does not equal causation. So speaking of science, let’s dig a bit more into official studies and surveys that look into how well, if at all, vaping can help you quit smoking.
Effectiveness of Vaping and E-Cigs for Quitting Smoking
As we’ve stated before several times on our Ecig.com blog, the exact specificity on just how effective vaping is to helping smokers quit is a bit cloudy (pun intended). While talking to any vaper who’s successfully quit smoking with the help of e-cigs or a quick look at the American Vaping Association’s (AVA’s) testimonial page might make you think it’s a slam dunk, it’s a bit more complicated than that. You have to take into consideration how much the person actually smoked (a four cigarette a day smoker might have wildly different results than a two pack a day smoker), if they have 100% moved from smoking to vaping or just heavily cutting back on tobacco, how long a person has successfully quit, the recidivism rate (or the rate at which they eventually fall back on to smoking), and much more. Even considering all that, the evidence is starting to weigh overwhelmingly toward vaping being an effective smoking cessation method/device. Consider this – even back in 2014, a large study in Britain conducted with nearly 6,000 smokers trying to quit found that vaping does indeed work:
“The latest analysis drew on surveys of British households from 2009 to 2014 and counted smokers who had tried to quit within the past 12 months. A majority used no help, about one-third tried over-the-counter aids, such as nicotine patches or gums, and 8 percent used e-cigarettes.”
And another large study, also from 2014 and this time from the University of Oklahoma:
“In a large, international survey of current, former, or never users of e-cigarettes, 72 percent of users reported that e-cigarettes helped them to deal with cravings and withdrawal symptoms, 92 percent reported reductions in their smoking when using e-cigarettes, and only 10 percent reported that they experienced the urge to smoke tobacco cigarettes when using the e-cigarette. Moreover, of more than 2000 former smokers in this survey, 96 percent reported that the e-cigarette helped them to stop smoking.”
And hearkening back to our earlier mention of recidivism, that’s an area where patches and gums fail miserably, according to research from Harvard University:
“Researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health and the University of Massachusetts recently studied the attempts of 787 Massachusetts smokers to quit and found the use of NRT (Nicotine Replacement Therapy) had no effect on their success.”
Doctor Recommended Vaping?
In the soon-to-be published Part 2 of this series, we’ll look at the recent news over in the United Kingdom that is allowing doctors to prescribe vaping devices and e-juice to patients trying to quit smoking. In the meantime, don’t forget to visit Ecig.com for the latest deals in vaping. By Jerry Whitehead III