Any current or ex-smoker knows how addictive tobacco cigarettes can be, and the myths out there talk about e-cig addiction being just as bad. Ludicrous but what about the liquid nicotine in e-cig juice? Is there anything to the e-cig myth scare mongering that talks about hooking in users in the same way or are they able to move to non nicotine electronic cigarettes at some point? The latter is a more difficult question to answer, but the former has at least some sort of an initial answer.
This would be the result of a recent e-cig study conducted at Penn State College of Medicine. Professor Jonathan Foulds teaches public health sciences and psychiatry, and he set out to ask this question and more when it comes to the revolutionary products that are sweeping the country.
The short end of the story is that e-cigarettes, regardless of the liquid nicotine in them, were shown to be less addictive that traditional tobacco cigarettes. More than 3,500 vapers were surveyed to try and figure out where e-cigs stood in terms of addiction. These were vapers of all types, from folks that used cigalikes to those who had graduated up to e cig tank systems and refilling with e-cig juice.
There were those who were vaping with a high concentration of liquid nicotine, and those using non nicotine electronic cigarettes. All this data had to be arranged in a way where it would mean something so that the researchers could make an overarching conclusion. Foulds did just that, proclaiming “We found that e-cigarettes appear to be less addictive than tobacco cigarettes in a large sample of long-term users.”
An e-cig study survey of 3,500 vapers established that, regardless of liquid nicotine content, electronic cigarettes are less addictive than tobacco cigarettes.
We have to note that the study did show a clear differentiation between vapers who used cigalikes to those that refilled their own e-cig juice into e cig tank systems. More advanced users tended to have more of a dependence, and the same goes for people who used high concentrations of liquid nicotine. Even so, Foulds remarked “People with all the characteristics of a more dependent e-cig user still had a lower e-cig dependence score than their cigarette dependence score.” He drew a fairly logical conclusion too, saying, “We think this is because they’re getting less nicotine from the e-cigs than they were getting from cigarettes.”
According to many addiction experts, electronic cigarettes mimic smoking easing the transition away from tobacco.
Even if people are taking in less nicotine via liquid nicotine, there is still a big reason why they are able to deal with such a decrease, and that is the where the role of the electronic cigarette can come in.
While it wasn’t part of the survey, we know from experience that the physical aspect of taking an e-cig to one’s lips and having an old fashioned drag makes a difference. Even if it is with non nicotine electronic cigarettes, it still feels good and allows smokers to keep a part of the lifestyle that they grew very comfortable with. E-cigarettes provide more than just liquid nicotine for smokers, it gives them a physical alternative that can look a lot like what they are used to, not to mention an outlet and a social scene.
This survey can also be seen as another puncture in the theory that electronic cigarettes are just a new way to hook a generation of smokers. This e-cig myth is used by many e-cig opponents to raise the fear factor. If e-cigarettes are less addictive than traditional tobacco cigarettes, they aren’t doing a very good job of hooking people in back to smoking. Especially if ex-smokers are successfully tapering down to non nicotine electronic cigarettes over time, as some wish to do.
No, this doesn’t sound like a product that has its claws in people and doesn’t let go. That being said, lets make no bones about it. Most current smokers are going to want and need that nicotine hit if e-cigs are to serve as a viable alternative for them. It is part and parcel of the package. What it isn’t, according to Professor Foulds and his team at Penn State, is something as addictive as tobacco cigarettes. For smokers who have been trying to move away from them, this is all they could ask for and more as an alternative. Tyler, Team ECCR