“The number of ex-smokers who are staying off tobacco by using electronic cigarettes is growing, showing just what value they can have. But the number of people who wrongly believe that vaping is as harmful as smoking is worrying. The growth of this false perception risks discouraging many smokers from using electronic cigarettes to quit and keep them smoking instead which would be bad for their health and the health of those around them.”
~Deborah Arnott, Chief Executive of Action on Smoking and Health (ASH)
According to two recent studies by the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience (IoPPN) at King’s College London and University College London, daily e-cigarette use might increase future attempts to quit smoking and reduce tobacco consumption amongst smokers. However, only daily use of the type designed to be refilled with liquid—tanks—has been associated with successful quitting. Their research also found that tobacco giants are putting their money behind the types of electronic cigarettes which are least likely to make you quit.
In the UK, e-cigs have been classified into two basic types: cigalikes and tank models. Cigalikes resemble tobacco cigarettes in appearance and weight. They are disposable or can use replaceable cartridges. Tank models look different from cigarettes, more like a tire pressure gauge, and have containers which get refilled with ‘e-liquid’; the e-liquid can be flavored.
The study looked at 587 people using e-cigarettes, comparing those who used cigalikes (76%) versus those who using the tank models (24%). At the end of a year, 28% of the daily tank users had quit smoking—nearly a third of the participants. The controls, who didn’t use any e-cigarettes in their effort to quit smoking, ended with a 13% success rate. Those who used the cigalikes had a success rate of only 11%.
“We must clearly communicate the relative safety of electronic cigarettes to smokers. The proven harm of tobacco is currently getting less coverage than the much smaller and far less certain harm from electronic cigarettes. We owe it to smokers to provide them with accurate information.” ~Dr. Leonie Brose, IoPPN at King’s College London