Daily vaping increases chances of quitting traditional cigarettes for heavy smokers


Since the introduction of electronic cigarettes, or e-cigarettes, in the United States in 2006, intense debate has surrounded the marketing, regulation and use of these nicotine-containing products. Surprising new research from the Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center has found that adult smokers who have no intention of quitting are more likely to quit traditional combustible cigarettes if they switch to daily vaping .

The Roswell Park study, published today in JAMA network open, used data collected from 2014 to 2019 as part of the Population Assessment of Tobacco and Health (PATH), a long-term study of smoking and its effects on the health of youth and adults in the United States. .

When the researchers focused their analysis on a selected group of 1,600 smokers who initially had no intention of quitting and were not using e-cigarettes at the start of the study, they found that those who did vaping daily thereafter were eight times more likely to quit traditional cigarettes than others. those who have not used electronic cigarettes at all.

These findings change the paradigm, as the data suggests that vaping may in fact help people who are not actively trying to quit smoking. Most other studies focus exclusively on people who are actively trying to quit smoking, but this study suggests that we may be missing out on the effects of e-cigarettes by not considering this group of smokers with limited intention to quit. To smoke ; a group that is often most at risk for poor health outcomes from smoking. “

Andrew Hyland, PhD, Chair of the Health Behaviors Committee at Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center

Hyland is also a scientific lead for the PATH study.

Overall, only about 6% of all smokers included in the Roswell Park study completely quit smoking combustible cigarettes, but quit rates were significantly higher among those who started daily use. electronic cigarettes –; 28% of smokers quit when they started vaping daily. The association between vaping and quitting smoking was maintained even after adjusting for underlying characteristics such as education level, income, gender, ethnicity, and number of cigarettes smoked per day at the start of the study.

“While clinical trials show strong evidence that vaping can help people quit smoking, the results of real-world population studies have been mixed,” says Karin Kasza, PhD, researcher at the Department of Health Behavior of Roswell Park and first author of the study. “Our study identified a positive association between daily vaping and smoking cessation specifically among the segment of smokers who did not plan to quit, consistent with clinical trial data.”

Few studies exploring the potential use of e-cigarettes as a smoking cessation tool have considered smokers with no motivation or desire to quit. The most recent Roswell Park study calls for greater consideration of smokers who do not plan to quit in order to fully understand the impact of vaping on the health of the American population.

“We have found evidence that the use of electronic cigarettes could have a positive impact on this very elusive group of recalcitrant smokers,” says Dr. Hyland. “To truly understand the impact of vaping on the health of the American population, we need to consider those who have no intention of quitting smoking.”


Journal reference:

Kasza, KA, et al. (2021) Association of electronic cigarette use with smoking cessation in adult smokers who had never initially planned to quit. JAMA network open. doi.org/10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2021.40880.


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