Last month, renowned cardiologist and anti-smoking researcher Dr. Konstantinos Farsalinos and his colleagues, released a study titled Patterns of e-cigarette use, biochemically verified smoking status and self-reported changes in health status of a random sample of vapeshops customers in Greece.
The researchers looked at the biochemically verified smoking status and self-reported changes in health status, of a random sample of fourteen vape shops customers in Greece. These outlets were selected randomly and every third customer who entered to purchase a vaping product was recruited by a visiting researcher, amounting to 309 participants.
Majority of e-cig users were former smokers
Current smoking status was assessed by measuring exhaled carbon monoxide (eCO), and a questionnaire was used to examine past smoking status, patterns of e-cigarette use, changes in health status and experienced side effects.
The data collected by the researchers indicated that 98% of the customers who participated were smokers before e-cigarette use initiation, and 82.5% being daily e-cigarette users. Only 1% of the participants were never smokers, and 1% had quit smoking before e-cigarette use initiation; all of them had eCO < 7 ppm.
Former smokers who switched to vaping reported health benefits
Most participants were using third-generation devices (61.8%) and vaping non-tobacco flavors (58.9%), with the average liquid consumption being 5 mL/day. Most participants reported experiencing health benefits by switching from smoking to vaping, mainly improvement in physical status, exercise capacity, olfactory and gustatory senses, while the most common side effects were throat irritation and cough.
“The strongest correlate of being a former smoker was daily e-cigarette use. Vapeshops customers in Greece are mainly current and former smokers with the majority of them having quit smoking. E-cigarette use by never smokers is rare and none of them subsequently initiate smoking,” concluded the researchers.