E-cigarettes have recently gained popularity and people are finding them very helpful as smoking cessation tools. Close to 2.9 million adults in Great Britain use e-cigarettes or vaping. Out of these,1.5 million people have stopped smoking altogether. E-cigarettes come in the form of an electronic device which allows you to inhale nicotine without most the harmful effects of smoking. Some studies support the idea of vaping to help quit smoking. However, other studies have found that people who use e-cigarettes are less likely to quit smoking because e-cigarettes can perpetuate nicotine addiction.
How E-Cigarettes Work
The first thing you need to note is that e-cigarettes don’t burn tobacco either do they produce tar nor carbon monoxide. These two are the most damaging components of a cigarette. The use of e-cigarettes is called vaping. Vaping involves heating a solution (e-liquid) that contains nicotine, propylene glycol, vegetable glycerine, and flavorings.
E-cigarettes are divided into three different varieties:
- Cigalikes: These have a similar look like tobacco cigarettes. They have smaller batteries which can be disposed of or recharged.
- Vape pens. They have a pen-like shape or appear as a small tube. They contain a tank that stores e-liquid and replaceable coils. Also, their batteries last longer.
- Mods. These are the largest e-cigarettes with a variety of shapes and sizes.
Can E-Cigarettes Help You Quit Smoking?
The ultimate goal of using e-cigarettes is to give up nicotine products altogether. E-cigarettes advocates have been promoting them as a way to help cigarette smokers to quit. Choosing the type of e-cigarette to use depends on how much you smoke. Using a rechargeable e-cigarette with a refillable tank delivers nicotine more effectively and quickly than a disposable model.
E-cigarettes help manage nicotine craving according to some studies. To help you quit smoking, you need to use as much as you can to obtain the right strength of nicotine in your e-liquid. Additionally, e-cigarettes advocates say that for you to get the full benefits of vaping, you need to completely stop smoking.
850 individuals were selected from Gfk Global’s KnowledgePanel to participate in an observational study. The results obtained showed that 90 percent of smokers who vaped at the beginning of the study were still smoking one year later. The study supported the claims that vaping helps individuals stop or decrease smoking during a three-month period. This clearly indicates that vaping promote only short term smoking cessation and is an ineffective long term strategy.
Debunking The Study
Gregory Conley, an attorney and the president of the America Vaping Association said that the study had some limitations including selection bias. Also, he said that the subjects were not necessarily daily vape users for a full year meaning the results were questionable. He continued to say that he was worried that this kind of research could deter smokers from using vaping as a cessation tool. He suggested more research to be conducted regarding this matter for proper advisory and regulatory decisions about e-cigarettes.
The Safety of E-Cigarettes
In the UK, e-cigarettes are strictly regulated for safety and quality. Chris Bostic, a deputy director for policy at Action on Smoking & Health (ASH) reported that they don’t know all the harm that e-cigarettes cause. That being said, e-cigarettes aren’t completely risk-free although they carry a small fraction of the risk of cigarettes. Mostly, the liquid and the vapor contains potentially harmful chemicals similar to those found in cigarettes but at a lower level. Independent evidence by Public Health England found that vaping is around 95 percent safer than smoking. This was supported by the Royal College of Physicians who came to a similar conclusion.
What to Do to Cut Back or Quit Smoking
Since there isn’t conclusive evidence showing that e-cigarettes can effectively help with smoking cessation without potentially harmful side effects, the safest approach is to talk to your doctor about proven and effective cessation techniques. There are other products that have been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to help with smoke cessation. These products are said to be safe and effective such as prescriptions medications including over-the-counter nicotine replacement therapies like skin patches, lozenges, and gum. As a matter of fact, e-cigarettes have not been approved by the FDA for smoking cessation.
While trying to quit smoking, you’ll get lots of advice. The number of people who try to quit without any help is quite low. As we wait for more studies to prove vaping can help with smoking cessation, you’ll be better of using products that have been approved by the FDA. Tobacco smoking is harmful to your health and can lead to the following conditions: cardiovascular disease, bronchitis, lung cancer, tooth decay, weathering of skin, diabetes, eye damage among others.
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