Vaping won’t help you quit smoking, and it can cause addiction

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E-cigarettes are now the most popular product used for smoking cessation in the United States, ahead of all U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved cessation aids combined, from nicotine patches and gum to prescription medications.

In two new studies, researchers found that e-cigarettes are not effective in helping adults to quit smoking.

The research was conducted by a team at the University of California San Diego and elsewhere.

The team used data from the Population Assessment of Tobacco and Health (PATH) Study, a longitudinal study of tobacco use and its effect on the health of people in the United States.

In an analysis, the researchers looked at 2,770 daily smokers who reported trying to quit smoking during the first follow-up year. One quarter used e-cigarettes to help with their cessation attempt.

At the second follow-up one year later, 9.6% of e-cigarette users had been abstinent from smoking over the previous 12 months.

But there was no evidence that cessation rates differed from closely matched smokers who did not use e-cigarettes.

This lack of effectiveness was also apparent in the sub-sample who used e-cigarettes on a daily basis for this quit attempt.

The second analysis considered 2,535 daily and non-daily smokers from the PATH study’s second-year survey, who reported making a quit attempt during the next follow-up year.

17% of these used an e-cigarette to help with the quit attempt.

At the subsequent follow-up survey (PATH study year four), 13% reported not smoking for at least 12 months—a somewhat higher rate than in the first analysis, attributed to the inclusion of non-daily smokers who are known to have higher quit rates.

Again, there was no evidence that cessation rates differed from closely matched smokers who did not use e-cigarettes.

However, in this analysis, it was clear that participants who used e-cigarettes to quit smoking were less likely to be nicotine-free at follow-up.

This was because many of those who did quit smoking cigarettes were still using e-cigarettes, which also contain nicotine.

The results suggest that these smokers would have been just as successful in quitting smoking without the use of e-cigarettes.

However, without the use of e-cigarettes, they would have been more successful in breaking their nicotine dependence.

One author of the study is John P. Pierce, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus of Cancer Prevention.

The study findings are published in PLOS ONE and the American Journal of Epidemiology.

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