Electronic Cigarettes Don’t Appear to Help Smokers Quit

Some proponents of electronic cigarettes claim the devices help people quit smoking, but a new studyblows smoke on that idea.

Researchers at University of California, San Diego surveyed 1,000 California smokers over one year to see whether “vaping,” as smoking electronic cigarettes is called, could help wean the smokers off regular cigarettes.

They found that smokers who used electronic cigarettes were significantly less likely to quit smoking for a month or more than those who never used electronic cigarettes. People who “vaped” were also less likely to cut down on the number of cigarettes they smoked.

“Substituting one habit for the other is the risk you run with e-cigarettes,” says University of Utah psychiatrist Jason Hunziker, M.D.

The liquid in electronic cigarettes is available in varying strengths of nicotine concentration, so users may be getting more of the drug than they realize. “The more you use a vaporizer with more nicotine, the more dependent on it you become,” Hunziker says. “That would make it harder to avoid nicotine in any form, which could lead back to smoking regular cigarettes.”

The new study follows research published earlier this year that found that electronic cigarette devices operated at high voltage produced high levels of formaldehyde, a known carcinogen that can increase the risk of leukemia, lymphomas, and nasal and sinus cancers.

Medical experts say the prospect of unknown risks is one of the biggest concerns about electronic cigarettes. “The regulation is poor in regard to the liquid that they are vaping,” Hunziker warns. “We don’t know if there are toxic substances being inhaled that could be just as bad or worse than smoking traditional cigarettes.”

The material in this press release comes from the originating research organization. Content may be edited for style and length. Want more? Sign up for our daily email.

14 thoughts on “Electronic Cigarettes Don’t Appear to Help Smokers Quit”

  1. This is article is so NOT TRUE!
    I’ve smoked for over 30 years. I started vaping last week. I’m now cig free after 8 days!
    Nicotine by itself is no more harmful than Caffeine. What about, fast food, diet soda, sugar and high fructose corn syrup? Sugar is poisoning our society and causing the obesity problem that this country is experiencing at high rates.
    Your article should be focusing on the POSITIVE benefits of vaping and not the negative.
    Vaping contains 4 ingredients (under 5 volts) that are all considered safe by the FDA for consumption. It’s in the food we eat! Cigarettes contain over 4,000 chemicals the are considered a health hazard. Do the math!

  2. If you had written antibiotics proven not to stop infection it would have made about as much sense as this article. I know too many people personally including myself that has quit with ecigs. I quit in January of 2010 and over 5 years later I am still off them. Can’t see ever smoking again. I have 8 friends and family members that have been quit for years. I can’t believe we are the only 9 in the world this has worked for.


  3. Well, I quit tobacco within one month from switching to e-cigs. So did my wife, my sister and my best friend. All of the above mentioned went from 18mg to 3-6mg of nicotine.

  4. I call bs! I quit smoking within one month of using an e-cig. So did my wife, my sister and my best friend. That’s 100% of all the people I intorduced to vaping. All of the above mentioned went from 12-18mg to 3 or 6mg of nicotine.

  5. Seems like these are the same scientist that don’t believe in global warming? It amazes me that the very people that have taken a hard right stance on e-cig’s are supposed intellects from Ivy League Colleges, Elizabeth Warren, Maura Healey, Jeffery Sanchez just to name a few. Are dabbling in full-on ignorance by touting “It’s about the kids,” only using part of the study as vaping in teenager’s has tripled but smoking in teenager’s has gone down substantially.

    Isn’t college meant to further one’s intelligence? Isn’t science meant to dabble in nothing but fact? Then why is it that these individuals refuse to accept the science behind the fact that e-cig’s are a very safe way to stop smoking , just so they could justify their ignorance and tax this industry so their states could pay the loans they took on the cusp of the MSA…yes the master settlement agreement. Government was making money on the deaths of their constituents that smoke, and they used Wall Street as the medium. Now they are losing money because smokers chose e-cigs!

  6. Let’s see… 4 years cigarette free; went from 24 mg to 2 mg juice in that time, and I vape at 3.3 volts/2.2 ohms which puts me a hair under 5 watts, so hopefully no formaldehyde for me… I think it worked pretty well.

  7. How can you call yourself Science Blog and post propaganda like this? I am 1 year and 4 months smoke free thanks to vaping. I started out at 16mg bottles and am now down to just 3mg. I am well aware of how much my nicotine intake is and I’ve lowered it significantly. The “study” this article refers to was debunked within days of it being published because it was severely flawed. The authors of the study were not familiar at all with these devices and admitted that they tested them under unrealistic conditions. For a site that has the word “science” in its name, you certainly didn’t do much research on this subject.

  8. This is simply pure bs.. Just here in little Denmark, hundreds of thousands of people have managed to quit smoking thanks to vaping, many in place of ineffective nicorette and nicotinell products.

    Get real! Vaping Works!

  9. I tried to quit smoking with the Nicoderm Patch, Nicorette Gum, Nicorette Lozenges, Wellbutrin, Nicotrol Inhaler and cold turkey. None of these methods worked for me. It took less than 4 months to become smoke free with an electronic cigarrette.

  10. I tried everything for the patch to guns and everything in between. Vaping was the only thing that got me to quit smoking! It’s been a year and 6 months now. And I WILL never go back to traditional cigarettes. Just the smell alone makes me sink. #vapingsavedmylife

  11. I have worked in a vape shop for almost 2 years now. Im not a scientist, but this report is just not factual. I know hundreds of people that used to smoke, that no longer do. I have seen vaping change lives, period.

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