The Weird But Effective Way Vaping Helps Fight Smoking

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New research indicates that vaping is actually less addictive than smoking and causes less of a craving, but how does this improve its smoking cessation value?

Tobacco use continues to be the leading cause of preventable death and disease around the world. As such, its ever-important to work toward new and useful ways to help smokers end their dependence on smoking. Making matters worse is that cigarettes are incredibly addictive, with some even saying a tobacco addiction is harder to beat than even hard drugs like heroin. Vaping has grown into an extremely valuable smoking cessation and harm reduction device, as many smokers who had trouble quitting in the past were able to finally kick the habit thanks to vaping.

Despite this growing acceptance among academics that vaping is much safer than smoking, there is still a lot to learn about how vaping affects tobacco usage. For instance, we still are yet to empirically know how vaping and smoking affect reward centers in the brain, but new research is starting to change that. A study published recently in Nicotine and Tobacco Research bolsters claims that e-cigarettes are an incredibly valuable tool in the fight against tobacco.

The New Research

The study, called “Comparison of Tobacco and Electronic Cigarette Reward Value Measured During a Cue-Reactivity Task: An Extension of the Choice Behavior Under Cued Conditions Procedure,” was conducted by two researchers at the SUNY Buffalo and published a few weeks ago. According to the report, they set out to better understand the relative reward value of both combustible cigarettes and e-cigarettes. They conducted interview-based research with a group of 54 dual users (those who currently use both cigarettes and vapes). The researchers asked them a series of questions regarding their craving for a set of stimuli, including a cigarette, a vaporizer, and a glass of water as the control.

Each participant was asked during multiple trials to rate their craving for each item and determine how much they would be willing to pay to have access to them. They also kept track of other factors, such as the amount of time spent deciding and latency to access the cue. After collecting all of their data, the researchers noticed some interesting and telling patterns. First of all, they determined that the craving experienced for e-cigarettes was lower than for traditional cigarettes. They determined “The magnitude of cue-specific craving was comparable across tobacco and e-cigarettes, but participants spent significantly more to access tobacco cigarettes than e-cigarettes.”

Other Evidence On Vaping

Bolstering the case made by this new piece of evidence is a few choice studies that have been published over the last year or so. A study last fall published by researchers at the University of Louisville concluded that vaping is actually the most potent smoking cessation tool that we currently have at our disposal, even beating out prescription drugs. This study didn’t look into the long-term outcomes of those who successfully ended their dependence on smoking, such as if they ever stopped vaping, but other pieces of evidence may have the answer to that as well.

A study of 30,000 vapers published last year by researchers at Penn State College Of Medicine determined that vapers are far less dependent on their electronic devices than smokers are on traditional cigarettes. They found vapers on average use their devices later in the morning than smokers, as well as experiencing far fewer cravings and finding it easier to stop altogether than with traditional cigarettes.

Implications

The data clearly indicates that vaping is not only a much safer alternative to smoking, but it’s also one of the best smoking cessation tools we have. With that being the case, it’s merely a bonus that vaping also appears to be far less addictive than cigarettes, meaning that if you eventually want to stop vaping, it’ll be a lot easier than simply quitting cigarettes. That’s huge news for any smokers who have refrained from attempting a switch for fear of just replacing one habit with another.

It also means that legislators who believe vaping as a smoking cessation tool is merely moving addiction from one source to another will no longer have solid ground to stand on. Ultimately though, we need to work toward a future in which the vast majority of the general public is aware of just how much safer vaping is than smoking (around 95%). Most doctors agree that if the alternative is continued smoking, then you should most certainly attempt the switch to vaporizers. Now it’s even easier to make that case thanks to the new evidence.

Do you think that this new study will improve attempts at getting vaping accepted by more people? Have you found it much easier to refrain from vaping than you did with smoking? How can we help improve the public perception of vaping and its benefits? 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.

Dustin has been vaping for almost a decade. He found e-cigarettes in 2008 and quickly became drawn to them as an early adopter. He's been writing reviews ever since and has established himself as a well-versed authority on the subject.

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2 Responses

  1. Timothy Mahoney says:

    I quit smoking 6 years ago, using vaping as an alternative. I was never a “big” smoker, typically smoking only about a pack or so a week, but I was very happy that I was able to stop as I really did believe it was a hazard to my health. Over the years I went from being a casual vaper to using it more and more. I graduated from using “cig-a-likes” (like Blu) to acquiring and regularly using more powerful “mod” type devices. I really enjoying vaping and have developed a taste for a few specific flavors (Original Waffleman is my favorite). That said, I use the lowest nicotine levels, not zero, as it seems bland. I am much more confident that my switching to vaping is a much healthier habit, but it is a habit nonetheless. But it is my choice and i wish the government would stay the hell out of it.

  2. ed says:

    We’ve been saying this for at least 7 or 8 years now. Nice job. Thanks.

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