Study Finds Link Between Smoking Reduction and Vaping

Those looking for a way to reduce the amount of smoke getting into their lungs might have a fun new options. According to a study from The Journal of the American Medical Association Internal Medicine, using e-cigarettes and tobacco vaporizing devices can help curb the cigarette usage of daily smokers.

The study, taking place in France, aimed to examine three things:

  • The association of regular e-cigarette use with the number of cigarettes smoked per day
  • Effect e-cig use has on smoking cessation among current smokers
  • Impact on the likelihood of a smoking relapse among former smokers now using e-cigs

With a sample size of 5400 people that identified themselves as daily smokers, about 2,900 of them women while the rest were men, they found that “regular EC use was associated with a significantly higher decrease in the number of cigarettes smoked per day compared to daily smokers who did not use e-cigarettes.”

Participants that did not use e-cigs smoked an average of 2.7 fewer cigarettes per day, while e-cig users reduced their habit by 4.4 cigarettes per day on average. The study also included over 2,000 people that were former smokers, all of them having quit in the year 2010. This baseline was established because that’s when modern vapes and e-cigs were legalized, and shortly after became extremely popular.

According to the study’s introduction, over 40% of French adults have used e-cigs before, which is almost 30% higher than the rate of adults in the US or even the rest of Europe. Although the study brought in a variety of ages, the average participant in the study was just over 44 years of age.

With several mentions of different quitting methods and their popularity, the study seems to be in response to rising opinion that vaping is a good way to wean oneself off of smoking cigarettes. There was also a link found between e-cig use and smoking cessation attempts, so vapers are more likely to at least try to give up cigarettes.

And, although this study definitely finds a link between vaping and reducing how quickly smokers are getting through a pack, they also found some less-than-favorable results for vapers trying to stay away from smoking altogether.

Among those 2,000+ former smokers that have kicked nicotine since 2010, using e-cigs was “associated with an increase in the rate of smoking relapse among former smokers.” So, while vaping may reduce smoking levels for smokers, non-smokers are actually more likely to pick the habit back up once they try out e-cigs.

“Thus, while EC use can help persons reduce their smoking levels in the short term, there is no evidence that it is efficacious smoking cessation aid in the long term,” reads the study’s main findings.

Related: New Study: Vaping Gateway to Smoking? No, It Never Was

The Journal of the American Medical Association is a highly regarded, peer-reviewed medical journal that has been in circulation since 1883. With 48 issues distributed per year, JAMA has published many important studies around the effects of smoking, both short- and long-term.

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