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BREAKING: Penn State study shows e-cigs are ‘less addictive’ than smoking

Just hours ago, researchers from the Penn State College of Medicine released a new vaping study that gives new hope to those who are trying to quit smoking.  The paper begins by discussing many of the documented health benefits of e-cigs while also highlighting some of the common misconceptions.   Among the primary concerns is a theory often blasted my many anti-tobacco lobbyists that vaping is a gateway to future smoking addiction.

The Penn State scientists refute this claim, stating instead that vaping helps reduce smokers’ cravings and the number of daily occurrences that users actually engage in vaping vs. smoking.  The basis for the study comes from the first results of the long-awaited Population Assessment of Tobacco and Health (PATH) study.

Penn State: E-cig dependence is less severe than tobacco dependence

The Penn State research entitled E-cigarettes less addictive than cigarettes, study shows is published for review on the Science Daily website.  The scientists led by Guodong Liu analyzed the responses of some 32,320 participants in the PATH study and discovered the following scientific data.

  • Of the original sample group, 3,586 respondents fit the criteria of the Penn State vape study.
  • Of those 3,586 respondents, 5 percent considered themselves exclusive users of e-cigs.
  • 95 percent labeled themselves as exclusive smokers.
  • Of the 5 percent vaping-only community, 93 percent were former smokers.
  • Compared to smokers, vapers tended to wait much longer before vaping in the morning.
  • Vapers also considered themselves far less addicted to e-cigs than they previously had been addicted to tobacco cigarettes.
  • Vapers also consider their cravings to vape far less overwhelming compared to their prior smokers’ cravings.
  • Vapers also found it much easier to refrain from vaping in public places as compared to their previous histories with smoking.
“All of the participants included in the analysis were considered dependent due to their regularity of use. But the study's lead author, Guodong Liu, assistant professor of public health sciences, said the findings indicated that e-cigarette users were relatively less dependent than cigarette users.”
"’No doubt about it, e-cigarettes are addictive, but not at the same level as traditional cigarettes,’ Liu said.”

The Penn State research team led by Lui also plans to continue its research with a series of follow-up studies.  Of the over 30,000 original respondents to the PATH research, over 80 percent also provided intermittent biomarker samples of blood and urine throughout the study’s lifecycle.  Once the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) makes this additional data available, Liu's team plans to conduct another study to determine if the participants' nicotine levels support their self-reported claims on vaping vs. smoking dependence and related cravings.


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