A woman refilling pod vape.— Unsplash
A woman refilling pod vape.— Unsplash

According to a recent study, vaping does not help people in quitting smoking tobacco cigarettes.

George Washington University researchers reported that the majority of dual users — those who smoke and vape — are likely to keep using both products. It is often believed that vaping is a “safer alternative” to tobacco use instead of a method of entirely quitting cigarettes.

The study discovered that vapes are unsuccessful in reducing the habit at the population level.

“This study suggests that at the population level, vaping may not help people kick the smoking habit,” said lead researcher Nandita Krishnan in a media release. 

“People who concurrently use e-cigarettes and cigarettes experience increased health risks and both products deliver nicotine, which is addictive. We should be trying to help them quit both smoking and vaping.”

According to studies, the most crucial thing a smoker can do to enhance their health is to stop smoking. Despite this, most adults who smoke cigarettes and vape are likely to continue doing so in the long run, the authors explained in the study.

Current research indicates that dual vaping and smoking is not only dangerous but also a common practice. The patterns of use for each product throughout time and potential interactions between these patterns of use are unclear, though. 

Data from 545 dual users from various waves of the US Population Assessment of Tobacco and Health (PATH) Study were examined by the researchers.

The study is the first of its kind and was published in the journal Tobacco Control. Participants had to be dual users at the outset, which meant they had to be regular and active smokers and vapers.

At each of the PATH Study’s four subsequent follow-up rounds, their actions were monitored. Over the course of the six-year study, more than four out of 10 people (42%) had a trend of quitting vaping early but continuing to smoke. Only 10% of users quit smoking and vaping early, while 15% of users still use both products.

Influential factors were the frequency of smoking and vaping, nicotine dependence, cannabis use, and other tobacco products. Less frequent smokers who used both products concurrently were more likely to abruptly or gradually stop using both.

“Our findings suggest that smoking reduction could help dual users to quit using both products; additionally, for those smokers unable or unwilling to quit using nicotine, cutting down on smoking could help them switch to exclusive [vape] use,” the study authors said in a statement.

The team issued a warning, saying that “continuous monitoring of trajectories and their predictors is warranted considering the rapid growth of the [vaping] marketplace.”

E-cigarettes use heat to create an aerosol that users inhale into their lungs from a liquid that contains nicotine, flavourings, and other substances. Researchers discovered that using e-cigarettes sometimes or regularly does not support users in quitting cigarettes permanently.

According to a 2015 study, e-cigarettes aren’t any more effective at helping smokers stop smoking than nicotine patches or fake vaping equipment. The electronic devices did assist smokers quit after a month of quitting tobacco. But after three to six months, people resumed smoking. 

Additionally, vaping devices caused negative health impacts like a dry cough, a sore throat, and shortness of breath.

Compared to those who used a nicotine patch, data revealed that e-cigarette users were more likely to experience significant issues such lung inflammation and irregular heartbeat.


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