The state of Tennessee conducted a poll to ascertain if vaping is actually being used as a smoking cessation tool like proponents often claim
A new poll conducted by the state of Tennessee in conjunction with the CDC found that vapers are more than three times as likely to attempt quitting smoking than those who have never vaped. Although it hasn’t been released to the public yet, the findings were presented during the American Public Health Association’s yearly meeting. Vaping advocates have often referenced e-cigarettes ability to foster quitting attempts, but it wasn’t until recently that researchers started to ask this question themselves.
This latest finding supports a recent trend of evidence that indicates a clear and distinct value of vaping as a smoking cessation tool. It’s been self-reported by users for years that e-cigarettes were integral to their success, especially for those who had tried and failed with other nicotine replacement therapies. But a new string of peer-reviewed articles is doing away with some of the ambiguity that goes along with anecdotal evidence.
Coming Into Focus
As stated, several recent studies have shown a clear and distinct harm reduction value of vaping. The Tennessee state poll reaches many of the same conclusions that another study from earlier this year did. That study was conducted by researchers at the University of California in San Diego. It also found that smokers who had picked up vaping were more than twice as likely to try quitting cigarettes than those who did not.
The positive findings were not just limited to quitting attempts. Many studies over the last several years have shown evidence that vaping is a very successful nicotine replacement therapy in and of itself. Notably, a joint survey conducted by Columbia and Rutgers Universities earlier this year found that over half of smokers who committed to vaping every day were able to successfully quit smoking, a higher rate than both nicotine patches and gum.
The British Psychological Society noted one possible reason for e-cigarettes success earlier this year. While tackling the question of proper incorporation of vaping into their policies, they showed particular interest is the potential benefit of psychological cues on quitting attempts. The researchers said, “Smoking is a behavior influenced by a wide range of factors including nicotine addiction and psychological factors such as expectancies, beliefs, drives, motives, and impulses as well as sensory components and aspects of the behavior itself.”
What It Means For Vapers
Even with more and more research like this published every week, it’s still not fully understood. It’s going to be a long time before any prominent researchers can say with 100% certainty that vaping is harmless. But that should in no way create a perception that vaping has a similar risk to smoking.
In fact, letting vaping get dragged down to that level is only helping big tobacco stay in power longer. After all, the fewer people who believe that vaping is safer, the fewer people who will attempt to quit using them. Given that even in the most progressive vaping countries, the overwhelming majority of the public believe that e-cigarettes are just as dangerous as traditional cigarettes, it’s clear that something is wrong.
We are now gaining a better understanding of the impact vaping has on the psychology of smokers. It appears that not only is vaping a viable option for smokers looking to quit, but according to the research done by UC San Diego, and the state of Tennessee, e-cigarettes can even improve the frequency of quit attempts compared with non-vapers.
It’s extremely common for smokers to wish that they could quit but still have a lot of difficulties doing so. That’s why it’s important to spread this sort of information to people whose lives it could change. Otherwise, we’ll continue to live in a world where hundreds of thousands of lives are lost every year by smokers who felt like they didn’t have any better options.
Did vaping help you or anyone you know quit smoking after years of trying? Do you think that poor public perception of vaping is directly helping big tobacco? Is it important that we prove the difference between smoking and vaping, and therefore distinguish between them in the public eye? Let us know what you think in the comments.