Switching Studies

Posted 22nd September 2017 by Dave Cross
There is a welcome glut of research taking place or being published that concerns itself with vaping’s efficacy, almost all of it is positive. A research team from New York’s School of Medicine has just released a study looking at adult characteristics while the University of Dundee is seeking current smokers who would like to switch to vaping.

Due to their very nature, these types of studies overlap outcomes because they inform us about the (supposed) gateway effect, if vaping works as a quit tool and a host of other incidental snippets.

New York vapers have taken a bit of a beating lately through taxes and bans in public places; it would be easy to paint the city and state as anti-vaping. It’s a delight then that the Department of Paediatrics at New York University’s School of Medicine is involved in a level headed, balanced study on the subject.

By its very nature, “Characteristics of Adults Who Switched From Cigarette Smoking to E-cigarettes” focuses on those individuals for whom vaping worked. The team took data obtained from National Adult Tobacco Surveys, and conducted multivariate logistic regression on the prevalence of adults who switched to e-cigarettes from traditional cigarettes.

The headline finding is that “the number of individuals who switched from traditional cigarettes to e-cigarettes increased by approximately 100% over the 1-year interval”. Although it is not possible to read a trend from such a figure, the change is welcome news given the volume of misinformation about vaping currently circulating from so-called experts in the United States.

It is worth noting where vaping experienced the most success. Firstly, it has been embraced more by younger smokers, in this case the 18–24 years demographic. In addition: “For education level, those with higher education were less likely to switch to e-cigarettes from cigarettes, possibly suggesting that awareness of e-cigarettes could differ by education level, which might affect their use. However, the opposite was found for e-cigarette/cigarette dual users, such that those with a bachelor’s degree or higher were less likely to be dual users.”


The team concluded, “this study highlights a new and increasing change in the progression from cigarette use to e-cigarette use.” Despite their caveats, it is still a timely step forward.

Dundee academics are hunting for current smokers who would like to switch away from tobacco, and take up vaping to ease the transition. The research project needs 80 non-vapers, aged over 18, who have been smoking at least 15 cigarettes or roll-ups each day for at least two years

The project spans four weeks and would involve making two visits to Ninewells Hospital in Dundee. Successfully completing the study means participants will be rewarded with a £40 shopping voucher.

Lead researcher Dr Jacob George said: “We know any change to habit can be difficult for smokers but we really do need their help with this important study. There is surprisingly little scientific evidence which really shows the benefits or otherwise of using e-cigarettes as opposed to tobacco. We want to test the effects of e-cigarettes, with and without nicotine, on the blood vessels, a key health indicator, and compare them to tobacco cigarettes. If we can get more information relating to the comparative effects of e-cigarettes and tobacco then people may in future be able to help to make much more informed decisions.”

To apply to take part, or for further information, email: [email protected]


 Dave Cross
Article by Dave Cross
Freelance writer, physicist, karateka, dog walker
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