CDC study confirms vaping more popular than ‘the patch’ or other NRTs

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is notoriously reluctant about promoting or endorsing vaping as a nicotine replacement therapy (NRT).  The agency would prefer that smokers trying to quit choose a more “legitimate” form of nicotine substitution, like lozenges, gums, or patches.  But according to a new report by agency officials, the CDC may be on the wrong side of history.  Smokers are turning to vaping as a tobacco harm reduction tool more than any other NRT or even drugs like Chantix, Zyban, or Wellbutrin. 

These alternative therapies are, of course, approved by the FDA, and perhaps unbeknownst to the general population, manufactured by the major pharmaceutical companies with massive amounts of political clout in Washington, DC.  Big Pharma, coincidentally, has a lot to lose if vaping continues on its current path of popularity among smokers.  Big Pharma stands to lose billions of dollars in revenues over the coming years in the marketing of smoking cessation products that the majority of smokers say simply do not work.

Overview of the CDC Report on vaping and NRTs

The primary objective of the CDC report entitled Quit Methods Used by US Adult Cigarette Smokers, 2014–2016 was to evaluate ten different smoking cessation methods and determine which ones were the most effective.  Through an online survey of some 15,943 current smokers trying to quit, the published findings include the following statistics.

  • 74.7% of respondents claim to have tried multiple NRTs simultaneously during their last attempt to quit smoking.
  • 65.3% tried the cold-turkey method
  • 62.0% refocused more on reducing cigarette intake rather than quitting.
  • 35.3% attempted to reduce their smoking intake by substituting vaping to a limited degree.
  • 24.7% claimed to have quit smoking completely via a transition to vaping.
  • 25.4% claimed to have tried one or more of the FDA-approved NRTs (nicotine patches, gums and lozenges) with varying degrees of success.
  • 15.2% admitted to having solicited the help of a medical profession in their efforts to quit or reduce smoking.
  • 12.2% admitted to trying FDA-approved medication as prescribed by a physician.
  • 7.1% used “stop smoking” websites and online information to help curb their smoking addiction.
  • 5.4% used telephone “stop smoking” services.

Taking a closer look at the above figures, the combined percentages of smokers relying on vaping to either stop or reduce their daily cigarette consumption is a whopping 60% of respondents.   However, the CDC may not have found these statistics to be all that comforting because the following statement also appears inside the pages of the official report.

 “There is no conclusive scientific evidence that e-cigarettes are effective for long-term cessation of cigarette smoking. E-cigarettes are not approved by the FDA as a smoking cessation aid. FDA-approved medications have helped smokers to quit, in many instances doubling the likelihood of success. Finally, we found that most smokers who are switching to e-cigarettes or ‘mild’ cigarettes are not switching completely. These smokers are not stopping their cigarette smoking.”

The above statement seems to suggest that CDC officials view the rise in popularity of vaping as bad news rather than good.  The respondents were surveyed between April 2014 and June 2016, and vaping has only become more and more popular since the report was published.  But statistics don’t lie.  Thanks to the CDC report, the American People now have documented research by a federal government agency showing that vaping is producing more former smokers than any other NRT by far.



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