Story 2014-03-25 3GX Electronic Cigarettes May Not Help Smokers Quit

Electronic Cigarettes May Not Help Smokers Quit

in science on (#3GX)
story imageA small study done by The Center for Tobacco Control Research and Education at The University of California, San Francisco, suggests that e-cigarettes don't actually help people to quit smoking." Of the 949 smokers in the study, only 88 used e-cigarettes, causing the study's researchers to "admit that their findings should be viewed with some caution."

World Science reports "They also found that e-cigarette use was more commmon among women, younger adults and people with less education." Last year, the US Centers for Disease Control reported e-cigarette use more than doubled among U.S. middle and high school students from 2011-2012. The lack of solid research, potential youth market, and abundance of caution have had anti-tobacco activists and researchers pushing for a ban on advertising of e-cigarettes.

NPR has a recently story about vaping, or using e-cigarettes, indoors and in the workplace.

If you smoke, have you been able to cut back your smoking or quit thanks to electronic cigarettes? If you do not smoke, does it bother you that others use e-cigarettes indoors?
Reply 18 comments

Are people seriously that anal? (Score: 1)

by on 2014-03-25 09:21 (#SX)

I can't see how vaporized nicotine is anywhere near as harmful as cig smoke, no tar, no combustion byproducts, not cyanide, or other nasty monoxide combinations..

I have quit (Score: 5, Interesting)

by on 2014-03-25 09:24 (#SY)

I was a daily smoker for 15 years. When I got my first e-cigs two years ago, I was instantly able to cut consumption in half. This was with a cigarette-sized 510 device which basically is crap. As time went by better equipment became available, and after a year, with a much better cigar-sized device, I was able to quit totally. I now use an iTaste MVP 2.0 box-mod with EVOD and Protank clearomizers.

About a week ago I forgot my vapestuff at home and resorted to a 10-pack of ordinary cigarettes (yes, I am still an addict). Compared to the raspberry and vanilla flavors I am now accustomed to, the taste was just horrible. And it would not leave my mouth until the day after. Also, I had to go outside in the rain to do it. Next time I will have a nicotine gum, or something similar instead. The cigarettes were just horrible.

Modern vape equipment is not only much healthier than traditional tobacco, the user experience also far exceeds it.

I did not RT whole FA in detail, but it seems like they have just interviewed a bunch of random smokers, found that not very many of them use e-cigs, and concluded that e-cigs does not work as recession.

Re: I have quit (Score: 5, Informative)

by on 2014-03-25 11:35 (#T1)

Modern vape equipment is not only much healthier than traditional tobacco

I'd rather not read that ever again. To say it's healthier is misleading. Although it's less harmful, there are no health benefits from vaping. Nicotine isn't good for you and lungs aren't designed to filter out propylene glycol (most common ingredient) along with a lot of other things that can be contained in a vapor, so you can't say vaping is healthier. My mom tried to use the "vaping is healthier" argument with me to convince me it was ok for her to do it in my house while she was visiting. I have a 2 year old, and I don't trust my mom, so of course I looked it up. The correct phrase is "Modern vape equipment is not as harmful as traditional tobacco products, but we still don't know how harmful it is".

I live in a province in Canada where fairly recently, within the last five years, smoking has pretty much been ban in every public space. As an ex-smoker, I often joke I could still smoke on the yellow line in the middle of the road if I wanted to take it back up, but honestly we're all a lot better off. It was much easier to quit smoking when I finally didn't have at least ten people crowed around me blowing smoke in my face everywhere I went. Looking back, the most horrible thing about smoking is you force those around you to smoke as well. I was probably one of those people blowing smoke in someone's face and was the reason they found quitting so hard. It was very inconsiderate. What's more inconsiderate is although smoking is pretty much ban here, people still light up in places they aren't allowed to. Like open bus shelters or standing next to doors. So to walk into or out of the hospital, stores, restaurants or other buildings you're basically forced to walk through a thick fog of cigarette smoke.

My mom, who was visiting from the states, was the first person I've known to use an e-cig. She tried to light up in several places she knew she wouldn't get away with. We went out for sushi and she tried it, after I went to the washroom, then got in an argument with the waitress in front of my wife and two year old over being asked not to do it in the restaurant. I came back from the washroom to see my mom practically making out with a very offended waitress while trying to blow vapor into her face. I had to apologize and pay the waitress off, more than dinner cost, to not call the cops. The point of the story is to me the "it's healthier" argument sounded like, "Oh this unknown substance isn't dangerous, here let me spit it all over your face so you can see it's alright. Gee, I hope you don't have any allergies..."

Vaping isn't popular here yet, but as a kid from the 80's I still remember what it was like to go to a restaurant or fly on a plane with people smoking. It's much nicer now with all the anti-sent and no smoking policies we have and I can actually breath the air without being assaulted by something someone else wants to force on the people around them. I'm not looking forward to walking into a room filled with people vaping, who don't know if it's harmful or not, puffing god knows what all over the place. As far as I'm concerned, if you're consuming nicotine (not inherently harmful on it's own, but highly addictive) or any other potentially dangerous substance (propylene glyco) and any amount of that is being puffed into the public space for others to inhale, then you're violating other peoples rights to not consume additive/dangerous substances.

I'm glad people are moving away from cigarettes and have no problem with vaping instead as long as you're not forcing people around you to unwillingly participate.

Re: I have quit (Score: 3, Informative)

by on 2014-03-25 11:56 (#T3)

Yes, I probably meant "less harmful" rather than "healthier".

You point out that proylene glycol is "potentially dangerous". It is used in and approved for several food products, toothpaste and cosmetics. Not safe for inhaling? Well, it is used in smoke machines too, which have been around for decades and have not been proven harmful. The only difference between an e-cig and a smoke machine is the nicotine (not detectable in an 8m^3 room) and flavorings (does not stink like cigarettes).

There are even some indications that PG might be healthy (from a quick Google search):

Vegetable Glycerin is also widely used in e-cigs. It is hard to come across any candy or sweets which does not contain it. It is basically sugar.

I think your mom's behaviour is unpolite, to say the least. It is not a question of wether e-cigs are dangerous or not, but of manners. E-cigs are not subject to smoking laws, at least not in Norway, but you got to respect people around you.

Re: I have quit (Score: 5, Insightful)

by on 2014-03-25 13:04 (#T5)

nicotine (not detectable in an 8m^3 room)

That could very well depend on the number of people vaping in the area. As I said any amount, detectable or not, is essentially forcing others in the area to participate.

My mom is a rude person, part of the reason I can't stand to be around her and why I moved back to Canada while she stayed in the states, but the point wasn't to say all smokers are rude people. The point was to say vaping is a new thing, people don't understand it yet and justifiably might not want to be exposed to it, but if people are vaping in public spaces they're exposing people to it whether they want to be or not. I feel the same way about perfume. I can't tell you the number of times I've had to get off a bus or leave a room early because someone (not exclusively women) bathed in some cheap ode 'a la toilette and is stinking up the space so bad the people around them are passing out from lack of oxygen.

As far as the article you cited, I do appreciate that, I have to take it with a grain of salt, for a couple of reasons. 1) How many studies did the tobacco industry fund to prove cigarettes were safe? They made a lot of very ridiculous claims that we now know were false. 2) I tried to traced the article back to the study, in the process I found out that Dr. Robertson the author retired in 1951, that's a long time ago, the study was published in 1947 . I'm not saying the study was invalid, but we know a lot more now than we did then and have a lot more standard practices and regulations in place than we did back then involving studies.

Maybe assertion two invalidates my assertion one because the study is so old that it couldn't have been funded by "the vaping industry", but it doesn't mean "the vaping industry" couldn't be using a faulty study to prop up or exaggerate their claims, as the tobacco industry has in the past.

We know proylene glycol is safe for *ingestion*. Water is safe for *ingestion* too, but get too much in your lungs and you drown. I don't want to make the claim one way or the other that proylene glycol, or other ingredients, are harmful or not, I just want to point out if someone doesn't want themselves to be exposed to it, then we should be respecting that. I'm in my thirties and only once have ever been in the presents of a smoke machine, my mother the chain smoker aside (BA DA CHING!!). They're great for theatrical effect, but I certainly wouldn't want one in the cubical on either side of me going all day at work, as it use to be with cigarettes if you're old enough to remember when they were still allowed on airplanes and in restaurants. I remember when I was eight and it was common to walk into a restaurant so full of blue smoke you couldn't even see where you were going, and sitting on the ten hour flight from Nova Scotia to England beside a smoker, who burned me with ashes, when I was nine.

As a side note, did you know toothpaste is actually not safe for ingestion? Florid is good for helping to strengthen the enamel on teeth, but is actually toxic in a large enough dose.

Re: I have quit (Score: 1)

by on 2014-03-26 21:27 (#V1)

Even if it is supposedly harmless, I'd prefer that my co-workers do not set up smoke machines in our shared workspace.

I don't expect to be allowed to bring a smoke machine into a restaurant with me either.

Re: I have quit (Score: 1)

by on 2014-03-30 17:32 (#VZ)

"Better" rather than "less bad" is everywhere.

Compare from the NPR link "Nolan says he saves 10 minutes out of every hour by vaping at his desk instead of trekking outside to smoke".

Wow - he's saving time, that's a good thing!

Or perhaps he simply used to waste 17% of his work time due to his addiction, and isn't honest enough to word it that way?

Re: I have quit (Score: 4, Informative)

by on 2014-03-25 13:33 (#T7)

Not wishing to turn this into a vaping forum (though why not, any discussion is better than none), but I just switched from the same set up as you (itaste and protank) to those funny clearomizers with the long wicks (Innokin CE5, just checked). I'd highly recommend trying them. The flavour is much better, and the protank used to get gunked up after just a day or two of use, whereas the CE5 has been vaping obstruction free for a week. Only thing is it's plastic rather than the pyrex protank, which means you have to avoid really acidic liquids.

Doesn't Matter (Score: 5, Insightful)

by on 2014-03-25 10:36 (#T0)

Anything that keeps me from having to smell ashtray when a smoker walks by is OK in my book. From my experience, the vapors of e-cigs are simply unnoticeable. And even if they where noticeable by a non-smoker, they tend to be pleasant - strawberry flavored pleasant.

Benefits of non-smokers forced to be around chain smokers > anything on the smoker end.

Re: Doesn't Matter (Score: 2, Interesting)

by on 2014-03-25 11:48 (#T2)

Over all I agree with that. My mom and stepfather were both chain smokers when I was growing up, I picked it up when I was 14 and smoked until I was 25-26. I tried to quit a number of times, but it was really hard when every time someone walked by me I wanted to beat them to a pulp and take their cigs. I finally quit something like 8 years ago now. Where I live there's now a lot of regulations about where you can and can't smoke, and it's awesome.

There's the occasional time where I'm walking into a restaurant and I walk by a few people puffing up, where they shouldn't be, or I'm waiting for a bus and can't stand inside the shelter on a rainy day because a smoker needs to stay dry and smoke, where they shouldn't be. Overall it's a hugely positive move, it's much easier for people to quit and fewer and fewer people smell like, as you say, ashtrays, when you're forced into a crowded space like a bus or elevator with them, making it much easier to avoid situations where I get extremely strong cravings for a cigarette because I smell them on someone.

what??? (Score: 2, Interesting)

by on 2014-03-25 13:17 (#T6)

I guess most of us here are the sort to require hard, empirical evidence of things before we believe them, but this is one of those cases where for whatever reason it's best to follow anecdotal evidence. Just ask vapers. I smoked heavily for over a decade. I tried vaping once, and immediately realised that I could give up cigarettes. I haven't smoked a cigarette in 6 months. What's more, because the hit is different from traditional cigs, I can go a whole day without vaping and not feel an overwhelming desire to punch anyone. I could quit entirely, but I enjoy it and it's the only break from work I get during the day. It's the same story with everyone I know who's tried proper vaping (not the cigarette lookalikes). I have no idea how the researchers can come up with this conclusion.

Re: what??? (Score: 3, Insightful)

by on 2014-03-25 13:43 (#T8)

anecdotal evidence

My mom still smokes even though she's also a vapor. That sounds really weird reading it back.

Anyway, she vaps when she's in a place that doesn't allow smoking. I don't know why or what makes her think, "Hey, no smoking here, well vaping will be perfectly ok then.", but that's what she does.

Fist time she pulled out her e-cig in my house I asked her to smoke outside and she gave me the "it's healthier" spiel, but couldn't cite any studies and, with a quick Google, I couldn't find anything compelling one way or the other, so I asked her again to do it outside. I have a two year old and a responsibility to do what I can for her health and safety. Yeah, yeah, "think of the children" and all that crap, but I'm not going to tell anyone they can't vap, just do it in a well ventilated area, preferably outside and not in my face. I finally managed to quit smoking something like eight years ago, I don't need any incentive to pick it back up or anything else that's going to cost me money I might as well be throwing in a fire place.

I'm really not looking forward to the day when I walk in to a Tim Hortons and smokers have realized "no smoking" doesn't mean "no vaping" and there's going to be fifty people sitting around blowing who knows what into the air. We all share the air weather we want to or not, don't make your habit someone elses'.

"Now we know", "And knowing is half the battle". -G.I. Joooooe. (totally making that my sig now)

Re: what??? (Score: 1, Interesting)

by on 2014-03-25 16:05 (#TC)

err, my comment was about using them as a tool to quit smoking. I really don't need to hear about how insensitive your mum is for the nth time. most smokers - like most people in general - are decent, tolerant human beings. what the long term health effects of vaping is no-one knows, but are they an effective smoking cessation aid? yes, without a shadow of a doubt. your mum is the exception to the rule, and I get the feeling she's the only smoker you know

Re: what??? (Score: 4, Insightful)

by on 2014-03-25 16:26 (#TF)

You presented "anecdotal evidence", which you acknowledged as "anecdotal evidence", that vaping helped you quit and claimed you didn't understand how a study could find the opposite "I have no idea how the researchers can come up with this conclusion."

I presented "anecdotal evidence", as a way to encourage discussion, showing that vaping and smoking aren't mutually exclusive and in fact people can do both, thus supporting the study findings. In doing so I've forced you to read the same/similar thing more than once and challenged your myopic view. I apologize for being offensive.

Also mom isn't the only smoker I know, but she's the only vaper I know. I'm sure I shouldn't reiterate that vaping isn't a big thing here in Canada yet, at least not in my part of the country.

Re: what??? (Score: 0)

by on 2014-03-25 17:14 (#TH)

Oh lord. Thanks for reminding me why I don't participate in online discussion forums

Re: what??? (Score: 2, Insightful)

by on 2014-03-25 17:34 (#TJ)

I think you had good input, and I enjoyed reading your contribution. I was just trying to present an alternative view to the conclusion using the same reasoning.

Re: what??? (Score: 2, Insightful)

by on 2014-03-26 20:48 (#TZ)

it's the only break from work I get during the day

This always annoyed me. Why do smokers automatically get to take more breaks than everyone else?