Research released last week finds that half of the smokers who quit, still use e-cigarettes
There are many questions currently being debating across the vaping industry. From questions over their safety to their influence, many health researchers and officials are trying to work out how to properly utilize them. But one problem that has, to this point, gone mostly unstudied is whether or not they can be easily incorporated into existent smoking cessation programs.
Considering how often this question becomes a basis for both sides of the vaping debate, it’s high time that peer-reviewed research was conducted on just how useful they can be when used to support already sanctioned smoking cessation methods. A new study out of Yale University aimed to begin answering this critical question, and what they found has dramatically improved e-cigarettes credibility. Researchers found that vaping can, in fact, be a potent tool for getting individuals off of smoking for good.
Yale University Study
The study was lead by Dr. Stephen Baldassarri, along with Dr. Steven Bernstein, Dr. Geoffrey Chupp, and a team of researchers from Yale School of Public Health. Dr. Baldassarri has spent his career looking into safer alternatives to smoking, including a recent shift toward vaping. His other recent work includes studying the beta-2 nicotinic acetylcholine receptors in the brain. But the study published last week was interested in understanding which interventions lead to the best results for smokers looking to quit. With this project, unlike many like it, they would specifically look into the effect of adding vaping to standard smoking cessation plans.
To do this, they would seek out smokers looking to quit and incorporate them into a standard eight-week smoking cessation program. The program included counseling along with nicotine patches, but with the addition of either nicotine or non-nicotine e-cigarettes being supplied as needed. After the initial eight weeks of treatment, the participants were just asked to track their vaping habits but weren’t reassessed until week 24. The researchers found that twice as many nicotine e-cigarette users stayed smoke-free as opposed to non-nicotine vapers. What’s more, half of those who remained smoke-free were still using e-cigarettes at week 24.
The team decided that one primary cause of these results were the behavioral cues associated with vaping. These are not present in typical smoking cessation programs but can have a massive impact on the rate of success as noted earlier this year by the British Psychological Society. Interestingly, and contrary to popular belief, they found that among the test group, those who had switched successfully tended to prefer the e-liquids that contain low-to-no nicotine. Most people assume that making the switch to vaping is mainly about getting nicotine, but for many, it appears that it is actually more about the look and feel than anything.
The breadth of questions relating to vaping being studied is expanding all the time. At first, the subjects were mainly concerned with if vaping is actually a lot safer than smoking. Although some would still have you believe that it is, vaping has been shown time and time again to be upwards of 95% safer than smoking. But as the consensus continues to grow on that question, the focus has shifted to other parts of the debate that have been left unanswered.
It’s also great to have some more research from well-known institutions such as Yale. While peer-reviewed research from all over the world is worth noting and understanding, studies by researchers at such well-respected universities carry a lot more weight. Further, what the Yale team found fits in with what we’ve already been learning about vaping compared with other nicotine replacement therapies. Including their relatively high success rate and self-reported utility.
But what’s more important is that this study took a look at the often asked, but seldom studied question of vaping’s efficacy as part of smoking cessation programs already in practice. While Dr. Baldassarri and his team made clear that their study by no means creates a complete picture, they did feel confident in saying “electronic cigarettes can be incorporated into a tobacco treatment program.” Hopefully, this is just the start of a new wave of research looking to decipher the actual utility of vaping when combined with already sanctioned smoking cessation therapies.
Do you think it’s essential for well known and respected universities to release vaping studies to start a societal reputation change? Did vaping help you or anyone you know quit smoking after countless attempts? What do you think is the most crucial part of making a successful quit attempt? Let us know in the comments.