Switching to vaping has 37 percent success rate, says new report

A new peer-reviewed research study suggests switching to vaping for only 90-days helps smokers quit completely by a margin of almost 37 percent.  The researchers began by following a control group of 72 participants while tracking the progression of their smoking and vaping habits at monthly intervals.  Even for those who did not quit smoking entirely, most were successful in at least reducing their cigarette intake from an average of 14.4 cigarettes per day at baseline to only 3.2. 

The study was funded by Fontem Adventures and published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (IJERPH).  In the interest of full disclosure, Fontem is the manufacturer of the Blu e-cig brand.  However, Fontrem did not carry out the research using internal staff.  Instead the entire process was outsourced to a highly reputable third-party to ensure transparency - Professor Neil McKeganey, Director of Centre for Substance Use Research (CSURES). 

“The rates of smoking abstinence and daily smoking patterns were assessed at baseline, 30 days, 60 days, and 90 days. The response rate was 87%. After 90 days, the complete abstinence rate was 36.5%, up from 0% at baseline. The frequency of daily smoking reduced from 88.7% to 17.5% (p < 0.001), and the median consumption of cigarettes/day reduced from 15 to five (p < 0.001). The median number of days per month that participants smoked also reduced from 30 to 13 after 90 days (p < 0.001). On the basis of these results, there may be value in smoking cessation services and other services ensuring that smokers are provided with e-cigarettes at zero or minimal costs for at least a short period of time.”

The participating 72 smokers experienced consistently decreasing rates of smoking-per-day as the experiment progressed.  For example, smoking rates were higher at the 90-day mark than at the 60- and 30-day marks comparatively.  These statistics imply that a major contributing factor to long-term smoking cessation is to simply stick with it – vaping, that is. 

Vaping flavors are crucial to making the switch to vaping successfully.

The scientists also discovered that another key factor to achieving a smoke-free lifestyle after only 90-days is the variety of available e-liquid flavors available on the market.  These findings seem to fly directly in the face of new proposed guidelines currently under review at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).  Under the direction of Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, the FDA recently closed a 120-day probe into the matter in mid-July under allegations of increased teen vaping.

Related Article:  The Final Countdown: FDA probe on vaping flavors ends in 4-days on July 16

Many of these groups are suggesting that the vaping industry is intentionally trying to attract millions of teenagers to e-cig usage through cleverly designed and creatively named e-liquids highlighting popular candies, cartoons, and other kid-friendly imagery.  However, the results of the McKeganey study seemingly further indicate that these flavored e-liquids are a crucial driving factor behind the 37-percent of adult smokers who rely on vaping technology as a smoking cessation and tobacco harm reduction tool, as well.

"Our data show that it is possible to facilitate significant behavioural change on the part of smokers as a result of providing them with access to high quality e-cigarette products, at least for a short period of time."
- Lead author Professor Neil McKeganey, Director of Centre for Substance Use Research 

Whether the FDA will ultimately ban flavored e-liquids at the federal level is still uncertain. But research studies like that of Neil McKeganey should not be discounted.  Vaping does indeed help smokers to quit, and according to the UK-equivalent of the FDA – Public Health England, vaping is also 95 percent less harmful than smoking. 

Related Article:  3 Reasons vaping is not a ‘gateway’ smoking

(Image courtesy of Shutterstock)

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