Study aimed to gauge the effect of vaping on the day to day life of cancer patients
Around the globe, and for decades now, smoking has been the leading cause of preventable diseases and deaths. The aptly nicknamed “Cancer Stick” can produce said cancers in the mouth, throat, and lungs which could lead to cancer throughout the rest of the body. It is all too common an occurrence that we lose someone dear due to cancer or illness caused by smoking. While vaping is still new to the scene, a scant decade old compared to traditional tobacco’s centuries, there is mounting evidence that vaping can help smokers of all kinds quit.
Researchers at the H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center in Florida recently published an article in the Psycho-Oncology Journal called Electronic Cigarette Use Among Patients with Cancer: Reasons for Use, Beliefs, and Patient-Provider Communication. This Paper explores questions surrounding cancer patients using e-cigarettes to help oncologists better understand their usage and be able to ask informed questions about it.
John Correa, who in addition to working at the Moffitt Center teaches Psychology at the University of South Florida, lead the team. They decided to find out the frequency of cancer patients vaping as well as their feelings on the switch. They found 121 participants who had previously been smokers and now vaped. Then they asked questions about their usage, their perceptions of vaping, and their reasons for moving from smoking to vaping.
81%, a staggering majority, said they started vaping to quit smoking. Then 60% said they continued to vape to help them stay off cigarettes. 72% said their oncologists never asked them about their vaping. Possibly one of the more significant findings was that almost all of the participants found vaping to be a more effective cessation tool than other nicotine replacements, like patches and gum.
Supporting the growing evidence of vaping as a smoking cessation tool the vast majority of the participants said that they felt vaping was less detrimental to their treatment plan and that their usage brought them less scrutiny from their peers. To quote the study “ patients with cancer who use e‐cigarettes have positive attitudes toward these devices and use them to aid in smoking cessation.”
Evidence for Vaping
This study is yet another that demonstrates the benefits that vaping can bring to a former smoker. In the past five years study after study has been published supporting vaping as a fantastic harm reduction and cessation tool. In 2015 Public Health England famously published a report to help lawmakers in England understand vaping, and concluded that vaping is 95% safer than smoking combustible cigarettes. Another study was published in the Journal of Aerosol Science observing the incredible reduction in cancer-causing substances in vapor as compared to cigarette smoke. Those researchers concluded that the risk of cancer from vaping, as opposed to smoking, was 57,000 times lower.
When it comes to vaping’s credentials as a cessation tool, there have been many studies supporting it. Vaping and e-cigarettes have been shown in multiple studies to be the most effective smoking cessation tool on the market. A study from the University of Louisville analyzed various methods used to quit smoking, ranging from quitting cold turkey to prescription medications. Of all the aids included; nicotine gum, patches, prescriptions, etc, vaping had the highest success rate.
Despite the continuing evidence that vaping is an amazingly effective harm reduction and cessation tool public perception is still low. The lack of understanding, not only in vaping’s comparative safety but in the fact that it is a different entity from smoking is at the root of this poor public perception. These views, portrayed by the media, held onto by the public, present a significant problem for vaping. It prevents smokers from switching because they do not see the benefit in doing so.
One poll conducted in recent years by Action on Smoking and Health found only 13% of respondents felt that vaping was safer than smoking. In that same survey, 26% felt that it was just as if not more dangerous. For vaping to reach its full potential figures like this need to improve. Lawmakers need to be able to understand that vaping is separate from tobacco so the products won’t be lumped together under the law. We as a people need to support vaping so that it can be adequately seen and used as a harm reduction and smoking cessation tool.
Did you realize so many cancer patients had taken up vaping for smoking cessation? Should doctors be asking about vaping use more often? Why do you think e-cigarettes have a difficult time being viewed as medical tools? 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.