A new study indicates that while the number of vapers across the country is declining, e-cigarettes are still the most popular smoking cessation tool around
According to the CDC, 37.8 million Americans are currently smokers, and over 16 million are living with diseases that stem from smoking cigarettes. Tobacco use in the US has been on a steady decline for years, with more and more people choosing never to smoke or actively quitting smoking. People looking to end their dependence often turn to NRTs, nicotine replacement therapies, or other tools like prescriptions, to help them make the transition.
In recent years vaporizers have become one of the most utilized NRTs on the market. Studies have shown them to be effective at both harm reduction and smoking cessation. In fact, a recent study has found that in the past few years vaporizers have become the most popular tool for quitting smokers to utilize.
The team, which was mostly based out of the University of California San Diego, was lead by Dr. Tarik Benmarhina. The team analyzed information from the FDA-funded PATH study, taking a look at how much of an effect e-cigarettes and prescription drugs had for user’s “persistent abstinence,” and reduced cigarette usage. The team defines “persistent abstinence” as being cigarette free for 30 days or more.
Over three-fourths of those who were attempting to quit were daily smokers, and it was by a substantial margin the team found that more of them were utilizing e-cigarettes to help them than prescription drugs. Researchers felt that the similarities between smoking and vaping played a significant role in these decisions. They even concluded that as e-cigarettes continue to evolve and advance, “it is possible that they may play a bigger role in assisting smokers to quit combustible tobacco.”
Further Research On Vaping
Many others have supported the results of this study. A report out of the University of Louisville stacked e-cigarettes up against nicotine gums and patches, as well as prescription drugs. They found that of the tools utilized, e-cigs were the most effective at helping people quit cigarettes for good. Furthermore, vaporizers have been proven to have immense harm reduction value. Public Health England conducted extensive studies and found e-cigarettes to be at least 95% safer than smoking. Another study found that the excess lifetime cancer risk, or the risk of developing cancer beyond your natural predisposition, was 57,000 times lower for a vaper than it was for a smoker of combustible cigarettes.
Researchers aren’t the only ones who see the writing on the wall for traditional cigarettes. Big Tobacco companies, like Philip Morris have stated they also envision a future without cigarettes and it is clear many of them are trying to stay afloat despite that. Many of them are trying to edge in on the vaporizer market by developing similar products. HNB, or heat-not-burn devices are a type of vaporizer that heat sticks of tobacco to release the nicotine. While different than traditional vaping, they’re often advertised as being similar to vaporizers due to their lack of actual combustion.
Overall it is becoming more and more clear to a variety of researchers that vaporizers are an excellent tool for smoking cessation. Even better, this study’s results prove that smokers are also becoming aware of this. Yet for vaping to reach its full potential it needs to be more accepted. Treatment by the media and FDA sensationalizes vaporizers as a nefarious tool looking to get young people addicted to cigarettes. In reality, the number of teens who take up vaping that were not already smoking is minuscule, around 0.1%. In order to remove this bias, more of the studies that show vaping’s real harm reduction and smoking cessation value needs to be shared. Only then will the public be educated enough for smokers to feel comfortable taking it up. That will bring us even closer to ending the war against tobacco once and for all.
Are you surprised that vaping is the most popular smoking cessation tool? Is there a better way to teach smokers about the many benefits of vaping? Do you think the FDA fairly treats the vaping industry? Let us know what you think in the comments, and don’t forget to check back here or join our Facebook and Twitter communities for more news and articles.