A new study by a team of researchers at MUSC Hollings Cancer Center examined e-cigarette-related behaviors among adult smokers, such as vaping, use and cessation.
The study, “Effects of unsupervised e-cigarette availability on uptake, use, and cessation among U.S. smoking adults: A naturalistic, randomized, controlled clinical trial,” included clinical trials with adult smokers recruited from 11 U.S. cities . The 638 participants had varying intentions about quitting or continuing to smoke, but all had no, if any, history of vaping.
Split into two groups, half of the participants were given flavored e-cigarettes and the other half were not. The e-cigarette group was given very few instructions because the researchers aimed to observe the natural uptake and use of e-cigarettes and their effects on smoking cessation.
In the e-cigarette group, about 70% of participants started using their assigned e-cigarette. Nearly all behavioral outcomes were favorable for this group, including quit attempts and sustained abstinence. This leads to the conclusion that unguided vaping may lead to smoking cessation. As a result, e-cigarettes should be considered a viable alternative for smokers who are unable to quit smoking through traditional methods, the researchers report.
“It’s rare that almost all predictions turn out to be correct,” said the study’s lead author, Dr. Matthew Carpenter, co-director of the Hollins Cancer Control Research Program. “Here, it’s effect after effect: No matter how we look at it, those who have access to vaping products show greater abstinence rates and fewer harms than those who don’t. ”
More patients are asking their GPs about vaping
Fortunately, more U.S. smokers are asking their general practitioners about e-cigarette products, leading to more doctors recommending these products, reports a study published in JAMA Online Open. The study, “Communication among U.S. physicians and patients about e-cigarette use,” found that while most doctors still have misconceptions about the relative benefits of e-cigarette products, many are encouraged and pressured by patients to prescribe them .
The study surveyed more than 2,000 doctors between 2018 and 2019. Unfortunately, 60% of people mistakenly believe that e-cigarette products are as harmful as combustible tobacco products. However, doctors who believe in the concept of harm reduction, have experienced their own struggle to quit smoking, or have been asked about e-cigarettes by patients are more likely to recommend these products.
Quit smoking with e-cigarettes
Meanwhile, in the UK, one in five smokers is believed to have quit smoking via e-cigarettes. More specifically, a total of 4.3 million Britons currently use e-cigarettes, equivalent to 8.3% of adults in England, Wales and Scotland. This was revealed in a report from Action on Smoking and Health (ASH), which called the rise in e-cigarettes “a revolution”.
The number of e-cigarette users has increased from 1.7% (about 800,000 people) 10 years ago. The report also highlights that around 2.4 million UK e-cigarette users have ever smoked, while 1.5 million still smoke and 350,000 have never smoked.
Numerous studies have demonstrated the effectiveness of e-cigarette products as smoking cessation tools, with many participants stating that e-cigarettes helped them quit smoking. Most vapers report using refillable tank systems.
Concerns about disposables
The report also highlighted the sudden rise in disposable e-cigarette use, which jumped from 2.3% last year to 15%. Likewise, the annual ASH Youth Survey, conducted by YouGov in March and published on July 7, recently showed an increase in the number of people using e-cigarettes. Teen vaping and experimentation with disposable e-cigarettes.
The survey report stated that the current proportion of e-cigarette use among British children aged 11-17 will increase from 4% in 2020 to 7% in 2022. Although the proportion of teenagers who report having tried e-cigarettes has increased from 14% in 2020 to 16% in 2022. Disposable e-cigarettes are the most commonly used device type, with a worrying increase from 7% in 2020 to 8% in 2021, and will increase to 52% in 2022. Elf Bar and Geek Bar seem to be the most popular brands, with only 30% saying they have tried other brands.