Health & Studies

More Nicotine Increases Quit Rates

A paper published in Nicotine & Tobacco Research finds that higher levels of nicotine in e-liquid increases smoking quit rates

Share on:
A paper published in Nicotine & Tobacco Research looked at the differences in using vaping to quit smoking between Juul users in the United States and the United Kingdom. The researchers found that smokers using higher strength pods were more likely to quit smoking.

At the outset, it needs to be highlighted that five of the six names on the research paper work for Juul Labs. This doesn’t mean that the science is flawed, or the findings are invalid - the science should be addressed on its merits alone, and publication in a respected journal opens up the opportunity for academics to do just that.

Their study (1) opens with four simple statements:

  • Cigarette smoking remains the leading cause of preventable morbidity and mortality worldwide
  • Smoking is persistent, with very low likelihood of cessation for any given quit attempt
  • Nicotine is the primary constituent that maintains cigarette smoking
  • Nicotine itself is not the major source of the harms of smoking

The authors begin from the premise that tobacco harm reduction (THR) means moving smokers who struggle to quit smoking to safer nicotine delivery products. By removing the toxic combustion products, successful switchers decrease their level of harm exposure.

They compared how well UK and American smokers fared when using the maximum strength pods available in their countries. In the States, Juul users are allowed to access 59 mg/mL pods while here at home users are limited to 20 mg/mL, in practice they can only buy 18 mg/mL pods.

The team looked at smokers who had smoked over 100 cigarettes during a past 30 day period, reported smoking some or every day, and were over the age of 21.

Successful switching was measured by participants self-reporting that they had not smoked in the past 30 days (“even one or two puffs”).

Participants were signed up to the study if they had purchased a starter kit directly from stores using a recruitment card or online following a post-purchase email.

The researchers’ findings were stark: “In this longitudinal study of adult smokers who purchased JUUL, rates of past 30-day switching 3 and 6 months following initial purchase were significantly lower in the UK, where nicotine concentrations are limited to 20 mg/mL, than in N.Am., where smokers were using higher nicotine levels in their JUUL devices.”

This led them to conclude: “The findings of this study support the hypothesis that the higher nicotine concentrations used by N.Am. smokers, primarily 59 mg/mL, may contribute to the higher switching rates observed in N.Am. as compared with the UK. This result is consistent with experimental data that suggests that the substitutability of ENDS for combustible cigarettes increases with nicotine concentration.”


  1. Differences in Switching Away From Smoking Among Adult Smokers Using JUUL Products in Regions With Different Maximum Nicotine Concentrations: North America and the United Kingdom -

Photo Credit:

Dave Cross avatar

Dave Cross

Journalist at POTV
View Articles

Dave is a freelance writer; with articles on music, motorbikes, football, pop-science, vaping and tobacco harm reduction in Sounds, Melody Maker, UBG, AWoL, Bike, When Saturday Comes, Vape News Magazine, and syndicated across the Johnston Press group. He was published in an anthology of “Greatest Football Writing”, but still believes this was a mistake. Dave contributes sketches to comedy shows and used to co-host a radio sketch show. He’s worked with numerous vape companies to develop content for their websites.

Join the discussion

Vaping News

Harm Reduction For The Rich

The United Kingdom risks becoming a harm reduction country only for the wealthy, according to Michael Landl of the World Vapers’ Alliance

Vaping News

CAPHRA Highlights Tobacco Control Flaws

The Coalition of Asia Pacific Tobacco Harm Reduction Advocates highlights the flaws in tobacco control which has led to the rise of black market in Australia

Vaping News

A Missed Opportunity at COP10

The Smoke Free Sweden movement says that COP10 was a missed opportunity to save millions of lives

Vaping News

COP10: Promote Tobacco Harm Reduction

Experts with Smoke Free Sweden are emphasising the urgent need for a Tobacco Harm Reduction approach at COP10