Long term vaping and long term behaviors of ecig users were analyzed in a recent study that was published on Addictive Behaviors. The survey involved smoking and vaping habits of the users. This study aimed to gather insight on how the vapers changed over a period of 12 months.
The study was performed by Professor Jean-Françios Etter from University of Geneva Public Health and Dr. Chris Cullen from University of Auckland Clinical Trials Research Unit.
This is among those very few studies about vapers that involved 12 months follow-up. The researchers found that only a small number of former smokers relapsed to smoking when they used electronic cigarettes. They also found that many smokers and dual users have either quit or reduced smoking after a year.
Preliminary, But Encouraging
Unlike other studies conducted for the purpose of opposing ecigarettes, Professor Etter acknowledged that this study they have conducted is preliminary and considered explanatory. He said that the representative samples in studies on vapers are warranted. Despite this, this study is likewise considered groundbreaking and the first of its kind so its results are encouraging and valuable.
Participated By Honest People
Many of the participants were signed up on ecigarette forums where participating individuals are known to campaign for ecigs. Etter said that he believes that most of these people are honest individuals and are not inclined to only exaggerate ecig benefits.
Long Term Vaping Is Not Public Health Problem
Anti-ecig groups accuse electronic cigarettes as tools that merely prolong addiction. In the study, results show and seem to suggest this accusation since the consumption of vapers did not really decrease after some time.
Etter stated that their study and other studies suggest ecigarettes as not very addictive as tobacco cigarettes. He said that there are two components in conventional addiction, compulsiveness and harm. An addicted person compulsively uses something despite the harms.
Eigs, he noted, have no harm so ecig use is more appropriately described as compulsive use rather than an addiction. Thousands of former smokers compulsively use nicotine gums for several months to numerous years even after they left smoking behind. Thus, long term vaping is not a problem or risk on public health.
He also added that even if there are long term vapers or people who still use ecigs over an extended period of time, there remains no problem as long as they quit the smoking of cigarettes. Nicotine is not toxic at the dosage consumed by the vapers or by the users of NRTs like nicotine patches and gums.
He reiterated what other experts claimed that it is not nicotine that causes the harm, but the combustion of tobacco. Vaping for a long time is not a problem, just as it is okay to use nicotine gums over a long period of time.
Consequential Dual Use
Based on the study’s sample, it can be viewed that dual users are likely to quit smoking after a year. Etter stated that dual use have consequences. One is reduced smoking and the other is eventual smoke cessation. Therefore, dual use should be viewed as positive rather than negative.
Since the effect of ecigarettes in preventing ex-smokers from relapsing, Etter acknowledged the effectiveness of ecigarettes in smoke cessation and not just mere quirk in the selection process of the study.
The researchers concluded that more research and studies are necessary. The changes in the behavior of smokers and vapers change over time, but are not documented. Many say that those who use cigarette look-alikes later transition to tank system ecigs. It is also hypothesized that vapers eventually reduce their nicotine consumption after some time; plus a lot more theories. Hypotheses need confirmation and questions need answers.