New study shows addictive potency of e-cigs far less than cigarettes; less than nicotine gum!

By Gil Ross — Jan 28, 2015
New study shows addictive power of e-cigarettes far less than that of the real ones. No surprise: cigarettes have hundreds of psychoactive chemicals in addition to nicotine. And more discussion about the recent phony formaldehyde scare.

Vaping Not SmokingA study based on cross-sectional and internet surveys of vapers (e-cig users, including those using nicotine-containing and non-nicotine e-cigs), ex-smokers now vaping, and ex-smokers now using nicotine gum (but no e-cigs) was conducted to assess nicotine dependence using a well-regarded dependence measure, the Fagerstrom test. A separate comparison involved dual-users smokers who also vaped compared with smokers who did not vape.

The study was conducted by tobacco and nicotine experts Dr. Jean-Francois Etter of the Institute of Global Health, Faculty of Medicine, University of Geneva, Geneva, Switzerland; and Dr. Thomas Eissenberg of the Center for the Study of Tobacco Products, Dept. of Psychology, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA. (Dr. Etter s book on E-cigarettes is widely regarded as a classic in this new field, and Dr. Eissenberg recently sat on the FDA s Tobacco Products Scientific Advisory Committee). It was published in the journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence.

The results showed that some e-cigarette users were dependent on nicotine-containing e-cigarettes, but these products were less addictive than tobacco cigarettes. E-cigarettes may be as or less addictive than nicotine gums, which themselves are not very addictive.

And in our ongoing (permanent?) campaign against agenda-driven, hypocritical or fraudulent health studies, we refer once more, hopefully for the last time, to last week s NEJM report entitled Hidden formaldehyde in e-cigarette vapor. Although we discussed the lack of relevance to real-world e-vapor last week, subsequent discussions commenting upon that ludicrous study and its authors cynical exaggeration of its implications even made it into the mainstream media, with no less than the NYTimes columnist Joe Nocera and FoxNews Greg Gutfeld taking on the widespread, destructive misinformation so gleefully disseminated in hundreds of other news stories. (Gutfeld s Fox video is especially important, as he also transmits important pro-public health information in addition to destroying the formaldehyde story).

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