Research released by researchers at Penn State College of Medicine shows that vapers are less dependent on electronic devices, compared to smokers using regular cigarettes.
The Population Assessment of Tobacco and Health (PATH) study was funded by the National Institutes of Health and the Center for Tobacco Products. It consists of an ongoing national survey of tobacco use of over 30,000 participants, both young and old. By filtering the responses, researchers were able to refine the group to 3,586 regular smokers and vapers.
Researchers found that vapers tend to reach for their e-cigarette later in the day, compared to smokers. They also had fewer cravings and found it easier to stick to rules restricting vaping in certain areas, they were also less likely to classify themselves as addicts.
Guodong Liu, assistant professor of public health services stated, “No doubt about it, e-cigarettes are addictive, but not at the same level as traditional cigarettes,”
The findings validate the message that public health experts have been trying to get across, that vaping products should be endorsed and regulated as harm reduction tools to help stop smoking.
A follow-up study will be carried out, this time asking participants to submit blood and urine samples to confirm that the participants’ nicotine levels match what they self-reported. They will also analyse ‘dual users’ of e-cigarettes and traditional cigarettes to ensure they cover the full spectrum of vaping.
“We suspect that most e-cigarette users are either experimental users or dual users of e-cigarettes and at least one type of traditional tobacco product, like cigarettes,” Liu said. “We want to learn if dual users’ dependence levels differ from each other and also from exclusive e-cigarette or cigarette users.”