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Swiss e-cig study shows vaping beats NRTs in the race to quit smoking

A new e-cg study from a team of Swiss scientists indicates that vaping is now the most popular method used to quit smoking in the nation.  The strange thing about this e-cig study is that nicotine-enhanced e-liquids are currently illegal in Switzerland and the Swiss Tobacco Product Control Act (LPTab) is currently attracting a great deal of political debate.

With an official stance similar to that of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the Swiss Council of States currently classifies vaping technology and e-liquids as tobacco products.   And just like in the United States, Swiss vapers began to form advocacy groups to fight the e-liquid ban almost immediately after its implementation.  It seems to be working, too, as the Committee on Social Security and Public Health of the States Council (CSSS-E) seems to be openly supporting a revision of the LPTab to a more vape-friendly tone.

Overview of the Swiss e-cig study

The Swiss e-cig study entitled Addiction Monitoring in Switzerland boasts some rather impressive statistics.  For starters, the scientists estimate that over half of all hard smokers secretly wish that they could quit.  The other percentages still like smoking simply for “the pleasure,” which vaping could provide a significantly healthier alternative.  Other statistics include the following.

      • 8% of quitters now use vaping as their smoking cessation method of choice, compared to only 2.7% from two years ago.
      • 8% still prefer nicotine-enhanced chewing gums, but this percentage has dropped sharply from the 9.2% of two years prior.
      • 4% currently depend on ”the patch” to help them quit smoking, compared to a whopping 6.9% in 2013.
      • 3% currently depend on stop-smoking literature without the use of any NRT at all.
      • 8% of hard smokers claim that they indeed want to quit, and have tried in the past, but keep searching for the perfect smoking cessation tool.
      • Meanwhile, 33.4% of this group want to quit to “prevent disease.”
      • And another 16.1% want to quit because of the perceived “health consequences of smoking,” compared to 21.1% in 2013.
      • Of the remaining percentage of smokers with no intention of quitting, 49% of hard smokers and 60.7% of occasional smokers claim that their “enjoyment of smoking” outweighs their desire to quit.
      • 9% of hard smokers trying to quit within the past thirty days have tried e-cigs as a smoking cessation tool compared to 2.7% of happy smokers unwilling to quit.
      • The study also indicates that the many different flavors of e-liquids is a significant attractive quality of vaping for hard smokers trying to quit compared to the more conventional NRTs.

The results of the Swiss e-cig study seem to mimic those of similar research out of the UK earlier this year.  Led by Dr. Jamie Brown of the Cancer Research UK Health Behavior Research Centre, the study entitled Real-world effectiveness of e-cigarettes when used to aid smoking cessation: a cross-sectional population study is readily available for review in the Wiley Online Library and in the US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health (NLM/NIH).  In the UK study, the scientists estimate that vaping has the potential to be over twice as effective in quitting smoking compared to more traditional NRTs like “the patch” and nicotine gums.


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