Titled, “Dependence on e-cigarettes and cigarettes in a cross-sectional study of US adults,” the study analysed cross-sectional data from the Population Assessment of Tobacco and Health (PATH) study from 2013-2016. Psychometrically-assessed dependence was compared for smokers and vapers among current, former and dual users of both products and among e-cigarette users who had, and had not, recently quit smoking.
Additionally, said the researchers, residual symptoms of addiction were also lower for vapers than for smokers. “Among former users, residual symptoms were significantly lower for e-cigarettes than cigarettes, both among former dual users (1.23 [0.07] vs. 1.41 [0.06], p<0.001) and among users of one product (1.28 [0.03] vs. 1.53 [0.03], p<0.0001). The highest level of e-cigarette dependence was among e-cigarette users who had stopped smoking (2.17 [0.08]).”
In line with these findings, a 2017 study looking at the same PATH data, had derived similar conclusions. Funded by the National Institutes of Health and the Center for Tobacco Products, the researchers had filtered the responses of 3,586 participants responses who were regular smokers and/or vapers.
The study’s lead author, Guodong Liu, an assistant professor of public health sciences, said that the findings had clearly indicated that vapers are not as addicted to their products as smokers. “No doubt about it, e-cigarettes are addictive, but not at the same level as traditional cigarettes,” said Liu at the time.