While long term studies are ongoing, we are seeing more and more research released that gives the entire world more insight into how electronic cigarettes actually affect the body and tobacco smoking rates. Any time new studies are released it is important to share the results. This helps us to educate ourselves as vapers and to provide actual data, not hearsay, for regulators. This week a brand new study on the effectiveness of e cigarettes as quitting and harm reduction tools was released. Most vapor brands are no longer advertising the fact that e cigarettes are great ways to quit smoking due to fear of oversight from the FDA and other groups. This week’s study suggests that when the smoke clears, vapor brands might be best to go back to letting people know the truth.
The International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health has published a study that focused on smokers with no intention to give up e cigarettes. They split the smokers into three groups. One group, the control group, was initially told to continue smoking as they normally would. The other two groups were provided electronic cigarettes, and asked to mix them in with their tobacco use to see if vapor would help them to reduce their tobacco use or possibly quit smoking altogether. During the initial period of the study, all participants were monitored in a laboratory periodically and also answered questions about their tobacco use. The findings are quite eye-opening, regardless of how you may feel about vapor.
After two months, 34% of the participants that were introduced to e cigarettes stopped smoking altogether, while none of those who just smoked had kicked the habit. At this point the control group was also given electronic cigarettes and asked to work them into their daily routines.
After five months (3 months after the control group was provided with vapor devices), 37% of the participants that had always had access to vapor were no longer smoking, a 3% increase. When the control group that had had three moths with vapor were surveyed, 38% of them had stopped smoking and were only vaping.
After eight months the participants were again asked about their tobacco use. Of the participants that had e cigarettes for the entire eight months, 19% had kicked their smoking habits altogether and 25% of the control group were no longer smoking. When evaluating the total number of cigarettes smoked by all participants the researchers found that, as a group, the participants were smoking 60% fewer cigarettes than they had been when the study began eight months earlier.
In the end the researchers concluded that:
“Reported benefits far outweighed the reported complaints. Conclusion: In a series of controlled lab sessions with e-cig naïve tobacco smokers, second generation e-cigs were shown to be immediately and highly effective in reducing abstinence induced cigarette craving and withdrawal symptoms, while not resulting in increases in eCO. Remarkable (>50 pc) eight-month reductions in, or complete abstinence from tobacco smoking was achieved with the e-cig in almost half (44%) of the participants.”
What does this tell us? Electronic cigarettes are a tool that can be used to help smokers to quit tobacco. Even those who do not quit completely show a tendency to smoke fewer cigarettes, which equates to harm reduction when a sample of the toxic chemicals in cigarettes is brought into account. While vapers already know all of this, the rest of the world is still undecided. This type of research is exactly what those who are on the fence need to hear. Vapor does have benefits, and those benefits can be verified by monitoring those who are slowly killing themselves with tobacco use.