Study: Vaping Is Helping More Smokers Quit

Study: Vaping Is Helping More Smokers Quit

A new study confirms previous research showing that vaping increases quit attempts by smokers, and leads to smoking cessation more often. The results provide more evidence that smokers who use e-cigarettes are more likely to quit smoking.

The study, by a team from Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, was published in the journal Nicotine and Tobacco Research. The researchers examined data on smokers aged 25-44 from two large U.S. government surveys — the National Health Interview Survey (NHIS), conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the Tobacco Use Supplement to the Current Population Survey (TUS-CPS), which uses U.S. Census Bureau data, and is sponsored by the National Cancer Institute and FDA Center for Tobacco Products.

The researchers looked at past-12 month quit attempts between 2006 and 2016, and attempted to find whether vaping was associated with population level changes in past-12-month quit attempts and successful smoking cessation.

The research shows that both past-12-month quit attempts and successful smoking cessation increased significantly in the years since vaping has become a common practice. It also showed that cigarette smokers who reported also using e-cigarettes at the time of the survey had made significantly more quit attempts in the last year.

The study is important because it adds to the body of evidence that smokers who try vaping are more likely to quit smoking than other smokers. Vaping360 covered several studies last year with similar findings, including research from the University of California-San Diego that also used TUS-CPS data, and a study from scientists at Columbia and Rutgers universities that used data from NHIS. Another study from Boston University researchers found that daily vapers were more likely to quit smoking than non-vapers.

These papers all refute the claim by anti-smoking (and -vaping) activists like University of California-San Francisco professor Stanton Glantz that vaping actually reduces cessation. Glantz authored a highly publicized “meta-analysis” in 2016, purporting to show that vaping is “associated with significantly less quitting among smokers.” That study was instantly debunked, but Glantz’s claim received a lot more press than the researchers who demolished it.

Few are repeating Glantz’s conclusion anymore, but his study created lingering doubt for some observers. The new study’s authors certainly had Glantz in mind when conducting their research. And they took aim at his conclusions in their own summary.

“These trends are inconsistent with the hypothesis that e-cigarette use is delaying quit attempts and leading to decreased smoking cessation,” the authors conclude, directly addressing Glantz’s claim. “In contrast, current e-cigarette use was associated with significantly higher past-12-month quit attempts and past-12-month cessation. These findings suggest that e-cigarette use contributes to a reduction in combustible cigarette use among established smokers.”