Many people around the world have switched from smoking to using e-cigarettes in an attempt to quit their unhealthy habit and it turns out that, even if they want to vape and keep on smoking, e-cigarettes help them to stub out anyway, because it’s far more enjoyable.
This is the finding of a group of researchers at the University of East Anglia in England, who sought to uncover the effectiveness of vaping as a way to help smokers quit and keep them off deadly tobacco. The results of the research were published in the Harm Reduction Journal under the title “The unique contribution of e-cigarettes for tobacco harm reduction in supporting smoking relapse prevention”.
Dr Caitlin Notley, of the university’s Norwich Medical School, led the research and said most British smokers trying to stub out for good were turning to vaping. “E-cigarettes are at least 95% less harmful than tobacco smoking and they are now the most popular aid to quitting smoking in the UK,” she said. “However the idea of using e-cigarettes to stop smoking, and particularly long-term use, remains controversial. We wanted to find out about how people use e-cigarettes to quit smoking — and whether vaping supports long-term smoking abstinence.”
Probing Smokers’ Habits and Pasts
The research focused on a group of 40 people who use e-cigarettes. They were probed on their smoking history and past attempts to quit; how they started vaping and the type of vape gear they began with; their favourite e-cigarette flavours and the strengths of nicotine in their e-liquid refills; and if they had turned to vaping as a way to finally get off tobacco cigarettes.
The research subjects were also asked about previous relapses into cigarette smoking and what situations or experiences contributed to them taking up smoking again. The findings suggested that vaping may be able to keep people from relapsing to smoking, particularly as it can provide the same sensation as using a tobacco cigarette, and there are other benefits too.
“Not only does it substitute many of the physical, psychological, social and cultural elements of cigarette smoking, but it is pleasurable in its own right, as well as convenient and cheaper than smoking,” said Dr Notley. “Our study group also felt better in themselves — they noticed better respiratory function, taste and smell. But the really interesting thing we found was that vaping may also encourage people who don’t even want to stop smoking to eventually quit.”
Starting out with Vaping
Vape gear is now conveniently available at a good online vape shop. Many smokers making the change opt for something like a Juul starter kit, which is simple and easy to use. The attraction of vaping over smoking lies in the content of vaping e-liquid: it contains nicotine of various strengths, as well as none, and there is now a large variety of fruity and other flavors that vapers enjoy.
The British research comes as other findings in the UK show that vaping is one of the key cessation methods for people trying to stop smoking. The top health authority in England, Public Health England, said in a review of vaping issued earlier this year that “vaping poses only a small fraction of the risks of smoking and switching completely from smoking to vaping conveys substantial health benefits.” It said that, if more smokers switched to vaping, it would lead “to at least 20,000 successful new quits per year and possibly many more.”
The British university researchers concluded: “The success of vaping as an aid to quitting smoking can, therefore, be understood both in terms of the satisfying physical substitution of nicotine delivery, but also the psychological and social relief of not declaring oneself as ‘quitting smoking’, thus not setting oneself up to potentially fail. This is in contrast to the ‘success/failure’ narrative experienced in the past when attempting to quit smoking by other means.”