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'The Patch' vs. Vaping: 3 Facts every smoker trying to quit should know

A recent poll conducted in Great Britain indicates that nearly half of all British smokers mistakenly believe that vaping is just as deadly as smoking. Statistics like these show that the Big Tobacco lobby is being tremendously successful in convincing the general public to stay away from e-cigarettes. 

As far back as 2015, the UK’s equivalent to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration – Public Health England – produced documented evidence indicating that vaping is 95 percent less harmful than smoking.  Yet nearly three years later, it appears as if smokers are no better educated about the many health benefits of switching to vaping than anyone else.   

American public health agencies like the FDA have yet to endorse electronic cigarettes as a smoking cessation aid.  It does, however, aggressively endorse the use of conventional nicotine replacement therapies like nicotine gums, lozenges, and patches.  There’s a reason for this.  These more traditional stop smoking aids are manufactured and sold by pharmaceutical companies, and Big Pharma holds a great deal of political clout in Washington, DC.

Here’s three facts that every smoker should know before choosing between “the patch” or electronic vaping devices.

1.  Studies show that vaping is twice as effective as ‘the patch.’

A group of scientists from Queen Mary University’s Wolfson Institute of Preventative Medicine in London conducted a clinical trial where smokers trying to quit were given different selections of smoking cessation products.   The nearly 1000 participants were divided into separate groups and provided completely free-of-charge either nicotine patches, gums, lozenges, or electronic cigarettes using 18mg nicotine-enhanced e-liquid.  A control group of participants attempted to quit smoking via the cold-turkey method.

Related Article:  Vaping is twice as effective than NRTs for smoking cessation, says new study

The experiment lasted for a 90-days, and the results were then tracked for each participant for a full year.   All participants received regular counseling by professional practitioners throughout the course of the study to help them battle their addition and any possible adverse side effects.  Biochemical validation procedures were also conducted regularly to ensure that all participants were following the study’s guidelines, most specifically to refrain from smoking.     

What the scientists determined is that approximately 18 percent of the vaping group were successful in remaining smoke-free for an entire 12-months.  Comparatively, only 9.9 percent of the three groups using more conventional nicotine replacement therapies exhibited similar rates of success.  The study entitled A Randomized Trial of E-Cigarettes versus Nicotine-Replacement Therapy is readily available in the New England Journal of Medicine.    

2.  Vaping addresses the mental addictions of smoking.

There are many reasons why the patch just simply doesn’t work.  Slapping a patch on the arm does little to address the psychological addictions of smoking.

Whether smokers realize it or not, part of the fun of smoking is the hand-to-mouth actions and the daily rituals that go along with it.  The hardest part about quitting is that many smokers miss those first cups of coffee in the morning while smoking a cigarette, driving a car while smoking a cigarette, or talking on the phone…while smoking a cigarette. 

Related Article:  Cold turkey method vs vaping: Managing nicotine withdrawal symptoms

When smokers are forced to give up the hand-to mouth actions of smoking, then tend to overcompensate by putting other things in their mouth instead, like candy, cookies, and other snacks.  For smokers looking to quit without the needless weight gain that often comes with it, vaping acts as the perfect substitute for smoking without causing all the long-term harm.  The patch can’t even compete.

3.  Vaping is cheaper than smoking or ‘the patch.”

The average price of a pack of cigarettes can cost between $5 to $15 depending on the area of residence.  They are bought, smoked, and tossed away.  They are disposable, unlike vaping devices which are refillable and whose starter kits cost about the same as a couple of packs of tobacco cigarettes.  Therefore, the initial cost of the starter kit essentially pays for itself in a matter of days.  

Meanwhile for around $50, American smokers can purchase about two nicotine-enhanced transdermal patches.  Recommended usage is one patch per week, but smokers trying to quit often change them far more frequently than recommended.  Even when used as per the instructions, the weekly cost of the patch averages to about $25.  If they were actually successful in helping smokers quit, this might sound like a pretty good deal.

Related Article:  Vaping 101: How to pick the perfect PG/VG ratio for vaping the tastiest e-liquids

When it comes to vaping, that $25 goes a long, long way.  Vapers can buy a bunch of e-liquid for $25 and in a variety of flavors, too.  It is very common to find a 100ml bottle of e-liquid on sale for a mere $10 per bottle or less.  And depending on the vaper, a single bottle can last for a week or longer. 

Comparing e-cigarettes and the patch, vaping is cheaper, even more so than smoking.  Smokers-turned-vapers are also two-times more successful in quitting long-term and far more likely to avoid the mental stress and anxiety involving in quitting smoking.  For smokers who want to avoid those nasty mood swings and frequent bouts of agitation at home and at work, only a switch to vaping will do the trick.

Related Article:  Keep it simple: 5 basic mistakes that newbie vapers often make

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