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The study titled, “Impact of e-cigarette sampling on cigarette dependence and reinforcement value”, aimed to understand how the use of vaporizers by current smokers, impacts their dependence on combustible cigarettes, and their chances of quitting.

Smokers who try using a vaporizer tend to experience reductions in dependence on combustible cigarettes, especially if the device delivers sufficient nicotine and is used frequently.
Participants were divided into groups that would either receive or not receive, a supply of e-cigarettes for three weeks. Prior to the sampling period, participants completed the Brief Wisconsin Inventory of Smoking Dependence Motives (WISDM) scale and the Cigarette Purchase Task (CPT) in order to determine their smoking behaviour. These questionnaires were also filled at monthly follow up visits for three months following the study.

The researchers found that Individuals assigned to receive an e-cigarette had significantly lower mean WISDM scores at the end of sampling, and the end of the follow-up period, when compared to those in the control group. The collected data also indicated that both frequency of vaping, as well as the nicotine concentration used in the devices were significant predictors of changes in the mean WISDM score.

The study concluded that current smokers who try using a vaporizer tend to experience reductions in dependence on combustible cigarettes, especially if the device delivers sufficient nicotine and is used frequently.

The effect of free distribution of e-cigs to smokers

In line with these findings, a UK study published last August, had investigated the association between the success rate of smoking cessation and the free distribution of e-cigarettes to smokers.

The researchers had distributed a Blu Pro e-cigarette to smokers as a replacement for regular cigarettes, and measured success rates at baseline, 30 days, 60 days and 90 days. “After 90 days, the complete abstinence rate was 36.5% from 0% at baseline. Frequency of daily smoking reduced from 88.7% to 17.5% (P<0.001) and median consumption of cigarettes/day from 15 to 5 (P<0.001),” they reported at the time.

On the basis of this data the study authors had concluded that it may be beneficial for smokers to be provided with e-cigarettes at zero or minimal costs for at least a short period, by smoking cessation services or any health providers, that may be assisting them to quit.

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