Electronic cigarettes are forbidden to be advertised as smoking cessation products because they lack a medical license and their long term effects on human health are still unknown, but millions of smokers and ex-smokers worldwide use them on a daily basis to help them keep away from tobacco. While puffing on an e-cigarette might same just like puffing on tobacco, the technology is far different. First of all, there is no smoke with e-cigarette, no tar to go into the lungs and no ash. Besides these, there are only a few chemicals inside e-liquids as compared to the thousands of substances and carcinogens found in tobacco smoke.
Given their popularity, it comes as no surprise that a recent Canadian survey found that more than 14 percent of adults have tried ecigs and the majority of them did it while trying to fight off their tobacco addiction. The national survey also found that about 64 percent of vapers are also dual users (meaning that they puff on both ecigs and tobacco) while 27 percent managed to quit entirely. Only 9 percent of vapers never used combustible tobacco.
The results of the Canadian survey are closely linked to the results of another international study made by Cochrane Collaboration. The numbers show that 9 percent of ex-smokers that used nicotine based ecigs managed to quit for good in only a year. In the case of nicotine free ecigs the number was a bit smaller, around 4 percent. In the case of dual users, 36 percent managed to cut the number of combustible smokes by half using nicotine ecigs while only 28 percent managed to do so with nicotine free ecigs.
Co-author of the study, Professor Peter Hajek from the Queen Mary University of London, believes that ecigs can be used as a very dependable smoking cessation product, but because only 662 people responded to the survey and newer electronic cigarette models appear each month, more research is needed for a definitive answer.
These e-cigarettes are battery operated and they use a heating element called an ‘atomizer’ to vaporize a nicotine infused e-liquid to an inhalable mist with different flavors. The whole vaping process comes very close at mimicking smoking and it has become a trend for people trying to fight off their tobacco addiction. And while nicotine e-cigarettes are prohibited in Canada, they can be purchased rather easily both in shops and online. As a matter of fact, around 53 of people responding to the survey said they were puffing on nicotine electronic cigarettes. At the same time, only 4 percent of non-smokers used nicotine e-liquids – another clear indicator that the whole ‘gateway effect’ attributed to ecigs is only a myth.
29 percent of Canadians picked e-cigarettes to help them quit on tobacco, 16 percent said they did it for the huge number of flavors, 14 percent made the switch in order to be able to enjoy nicotine in all the places where smoking is banned, 10 percent because they believe it’s a much healthier alternative while 4 percent went for e-cigs as advised by their doctors.