The study titled, “A Descriptive Analysis of Transitions from Smoking to Electronic Nicotine Delivery System (ENDS) Use: A Daily Diary Investigation,” concluded that quitting via vaping is rarely straightforward. “Transitions from smoking to ENDS use may involve considerable periods of dual use, which is likely to be dynamic and potentially sustained over several months.”

However, commenting on the claims made by the study, co-director of the Aotearoa Vapers Community Advocacy (AVCA) Nancy Loucas, highlighted that the researchers failed to acknowledge an important detail. “The process of kicking cigarettes, via vaping, is never straightforward and it does vary from smoker to smoker. However, what the University of Otago researchers fail to acknowledge is despite this, vaping remains the most effective smoking cessation tool in the world by a long shot. What’s more, ongoing personalized support is key,” she said.

She added that between 2016 and 2018, the AVCA designed and conducted its own Vape It Forward (VIP) programme, and this witnessed an impressive 83% smoking quit rate. “VIF was a holistic mentoring programme for adults who had tried to stop smoking using conventional methods. It proved that holistic, wraparound support without time constraints works. There is no reason to shame someone who dual uses cigarettes and vapes before completely switching over. That’s not failure. That’s part of the journey,” she said.

Smoking cessation success via ENDS

Another recent study looked into whether smokers who attempt quitting via vaping, report similar quit rates as those using commonly recommended smoking cessation aids. The study titled, “Electronic cigarettes in standard smoking cessation treatment by tobacco counselors in Flanders: E-cigarette users show similar if not higher quit rates as those using commonly recommended smoking cessation aids,” looked into the smoking cessation success of smokers who attempted to quit via vaping.

Participants were recruited by tobacco counselors, and followed a smoking cessation treatment (in group) for 2 months. The participants were followed for 7 months after the quit date, and asked to fill out questionnaires and asked to hand in eCO measurements. “One third of all participants (n = 244) achieved smoking abstinence 7 months after the quit date, with e-cigarette users having higher chances to be smoking abstinent at the final session compared to NRT users,” reported the researchers.

In line with previous findings, the researchers found that vapes may be more effective than other NRTs in helping smokers quit. “People who smoke and choose e-cigarettes in the context of smoking cessation treatment by tobacco counselors show similar if not higher smoking cessation rates compared to those choosing other evidence-based (or no) smoking cessation aids,” they concluded.

UK: The NHS Will be Prescribing Vapes as Smoking Cessation Tools

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