Study Shows Vaping Significantly Reduces Cravings for Tobacco
Electronic cigarettes are the best alternative for smokers that need a way to kick the tobacco habit. Now brand new research has surfaced that proves once again just how effective ecigs can be for smoking cessation. The new study was published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. Scientists found that ecigs were able to significantly reduce participants’ cravings for tobacco cigarettes and only caused minima side effects.
Researchers at KU Leuven followed 48 participants over a period of eight months. All of the participants were current smokers with no intention to give up their cigarettes. The researchers wanted to find out if ecigs would lessen the desire to smoke short-term and whether vaping would lead some of the smokers to quit tobacco altogether over an extended period of time.
They divided the smokers into three groups. The first group was the control group and they only had access to tobacco. The other two groups were given ecigs and they were free to vape or smoke during the first two months. Once they entered the third month, the control group was also given ecigs and then all the participants were monitored for six more months using an online tool where they would regularly log about their ecig and cigarette consumption.
The scientists found that e-cigarettes reduced the tobacco craving just as effectively as smoking a cigarette. However, the amount of exhaled carbon monoxide stayed at baseline with no changes when the individuals were vaping instead of smoking. By the end of eight months, the researchers found that smokers were likely to completely stop using tobacco cigarettes and turn to vaping or at least drastically reduce their tobacco use.
Even though none of the participants originally planned to stop smoking, a surprising 21 percent had quit using tobacco completely by the end of the trial. Another 23 percent had cut their cigarette consumption in half. All three groups managed to reduce their cigarette smoking by 60 percent after using e-cigs. Professor Frank Baeyens and Postdoctoral Researcher Dinska Van Gucht of the Psychology of Learning and Experimental Psychopathology Unit concluded: “All the groups showed similar results after we introduced the e-cigs… With guidance on practical use, the nicotine e-cig offers many smokers a successful alternative for smoking less – or even quitting altogether. E-cig users get the experience of smoking a cigarette and inhale nicotine vapor, but do not suffer the damaging effects of a tobacco cigarette.”
Baeyens said that smokers who follow the cold turkey approach are not nearly as successful. “By comparison: of all the smokers who quit using nothing but willpower, only 3 to 5 percent remain smoke-free for 6 to 12 months after quitting,” he said.
Ultimately, this study has proven once again what many of us already know to be true. When all other nicotine replacement therapies fail, electronic cigarettes work. By offering smokers an alternative that allows them to continue enjoying the same smoking “experience” without the tobacco and carcinogens, it sets them on a path to successful cessation.