A study released last week shows that vaping is now the most popular smoking cessation product. The only more popular techniques were quitting cold turkey and gradually reducing the number of cigarettes smoked.
The information came in a “research brief” from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), a U.S. government agency, and was published in the journal Preventing Chronic Disease.. The authors include Dr. Tim McAfee, former director of the CDC’s Office on Smoking and Health. McAfee has been a staunch opponent of e-cigarettes and vaping.
The study looked at almost 16,000 adult smokers over a period of 26 months. The goal was to determine which of 10 quitting methods worked best. As it turned out, about three-quarters of those who tried to quit used more than one method.
Combining the smokers who either substituted some or all of their cigarettes with vapor products, e-cigarettes were used by more than half of everyone who tried to quit — twice the number that used FDA-approved nicotine replacement therapies (NRT) like patches and gum.
Despite the result, the authors thought it necessary to downplay the potential and effectiveness of e-cigs with a flurry of the tired we-just-don’t-know and more-study-needed sentiments. They really want you to quit THEIR way.
“There is no conclusive scientific evidence that e-cigarettes are effective for long-term cessation of cigarette smoking, they wrote. “E-cigarettes are not approved by the FDA as a smoking cessation aid. FDA-approved medications have helped smokers to quit, in many instances doubling the likelihood of success. Finally, we found that most smokers who are switching to e-cigarettes or ‘mild’ cigarettes are not switching completely. These smokers are not stopping their cigarette smoking.”
Well, actually no one smoking “mild cigarettes” is switching at all. “Given that our data show that e-cigarettes are more commonly used for quit attempts than FDA-approved medications, further research is warranted on the safety and effectiveness of using e-cigarettes to quit smoking.”
Perhaps they could ask some of the millions of smokers that have quit cigarettes and now vape instead. But that’s probably too much to ask. These folks are willing to do backflips on a tightwire to avoid saying anything positive about vaping.
“The CDC has finally acknowledged the popularity of vaping,” Dr. Brad Rodu told the Winston-Salem Journal. Dr. Rodu is a professor of medicine at the University of Louisville, and a well-known proponent of tobacco harm reduction, the substitution of less-risky products like e-cigs and smokeless tobacco for cigarettes.
“This study documents that vaping is American smokers’ most popular quit-smoking aid, despite a broad misinformation campaign labeling e-cigarettes as neither safe nor effective.”
Gregory Conley, president of the American Vaping Association (AVA), told the Journal, “A prior CDC study showed that among smokers who had successfully quit in the prior year, nearly one-fourth were current users of e-cigarettes, a finding that cuts against the outdated claim that there is no evidence that vapor products help smokers get off combustible tobacco products.”