New study shows that vaping promotes quitting for smokers and ex-smokers

By ACSH Staff — Nov 08, 2013
A new study shows the impressive success rate of e-cigarettes in reducing the use of cigarettes in a small select group, over the course of one year. Smoking was reduced in vapers and dual users, and many dual users wound up quitting cigarettes. We also comment on yet another duplicitous interview by the CDC's Tom Frieden.

ByeBye cigs, Hello e-cigsA study published in the journal Addictive Behaviors lends further support to the accumulating literature on the major benefits of e-cigarette use (vaping) in helping smokers quit their deadly habit. Two experts in addiction and tobacco, Drs. Jean-Francois Etter and Chris Bullen, of the University of Geneva and The National Institute for Health Innovation, School of Population Health, University of Auckland, New Zealand, respectively, recruited 477 volunteers from websites devoted to e-cigarettes and/or smoking cessation, and followed their smoking and vaping habits over a one-month (477 subjects) and one-year (367 subjects) period.

The results showed the efficacy of vaping for reducing the use of cigarettes. At the study s onset, 76 percent were using e-cigarettes daily; 72 percent were ex-smokers (i.e., had quit smoking none were never-smokers). At the one-month mark, almost all of those who vaped daily were still doing so; at one-year, 89 percent were. But the key figures are these: among those former smokers who were regular vapers, only 6 percent had relapsed to cigarettes, at one-month and one-year. And equally important, among those who were dual users those who both vaped and smoked an amazing 46 percent had quit smoking at the one-year mark.

One of the authors had this cautionary comment: Our results may not be generalizable to all vapers, Jean-Francois Etter said, using the slang for vaporizer users. "We had a majority of ex-smokers at baseline whereas in the general population, most vapers are current smokers," he told Reuters Health.

An expert not associated with the study was a bit more enthusiastic, also as cited by Reuters Health: The study is...innovative in that it did not just ask for a one-off information as a number of previous studies did, but it followed the e-cigarette users up to see what happens to their e-cig use and to their smoking one year later," according to Prof. Peter Hajek, director of the Tobacco Dependence Research Unit at Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry in London, UK.

Ordinarily we close our items with a cogent, personal perspective. But we here at ACSH believe that Dr. Hajek should have the last word on this study, and the topic of harm reduction in general: "There are two products competing for smokers' business. One kills half the users, the other one is at least an order of magnitude safer. It makes little sense to try to cripple the safer one so the deadly one maintains the market monopoly."

In contrast to the evidence-based information flowing in on e-cigarette benefits and safety, we have this recent disturbingly misleading, manipulative discussion from an exclusive USA Today interview with the CDC s most prominent hypocrite, Dr. Tom Frieden. Trying to conserve space, we shall only point out two of this most prominent lies:

Keeping tabs on new, unregulated products from the tobacco industry, which manufactures most e-cigarettes, is akin to playing "whack-a-mole," Frieden said. Manufacturers of e-cigarettes have trumpeted their health value, arguing that they could help smokers give up tobacco, much as nicotine-replacement products do.

The salient facts: 1-most e-cigarettes come not from the tobacco industry, but from hundreds (or thousands) of small businesses. 2-e-cigarette marketers are forbidden by law to trumpet their health value, as that would make them medical products, which they are not, and Frieden knows that quite well. And by the way, his cherished nicotine replacement products do not, unfortunately, help smokers quit that much, either. And his casual "they're trying to hook our children" mantra is also based on nothing more than his skewed perception, as that too is illegal.