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Negative Ecig Use Studies

An American study looks at ecig use and dependence, while a German one examines its harm reduction potential

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In Germany, researchers looked at how successful vaping is as a harm reduction tool, and if it works for smokers. Over in the States, academics weigh up how diverse the subject of electronic cigarettes is – and how it’s difficult to identify one type of vaping.

Bonnie Halpern-Felsher of Stanford University’s Department of Paediatrics, and Hyoshin Kim from the Battelle Public Health Centre for Tobacco Research published “Measuring E-cigarette use, dependence, and perceptions: Important principles and considerations to advance tobacco regulatory science” in the journal Addictive Behaviours.

The pair looked at a number of previous studies in order to, they claim, shed some light on the complex and confusing area of vaping. They note that there isn’t even one type of device: “Electronic nicotine delivery systems include electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes), vape pens, vapes, vaporizers, e-hookah, e-pipes, and e-cigars”.

At this point, before the end of the very first sentence, it is clear we are not dealing with people who are in any way au faît with vaping. It’s not so much a description of different devices so much as a collection of the only terms they’ve heard of. If you are reading this hoping for a positive summation of the vape community then prepare for disappointment.

They unquestioningly cite one study “The devices are usually ready-to-use instantly; therefore, users can easily vape a few puffs on various occasions and throughout the day, sometimes without realizing how much they actually vaped.”

The sift through academic papers had the aim of lifting three essential reads for the benefit of legislators and future researcher – but that they include two studies featuring the woeful Jessica Barrington-Trimis in their reading list is enough to damn the entire exercise, and not even a passing reference to Dr Farsalinos can redeem it.

In “Nutzung und Nutzen der E-Zigarette im Rahmen eines strukturierten verhaltenstherapeutischen Gruppenprogramms”, a pair of researchers looked at efficacy. C Kröger and D Piontek from IFT Institut für Therapieforschung in Munich (therapy research) worked with S Ofner of the IFT-Gesundheitsförderung (health promotion).

They spent a year studying 637 people attending quit services and contacted them by phone. They interviewed them about the use of electronic cigarettes and tobacco abstinence. Out of the body, 12.6% had used ecigs at some point during or after making contact with the smoking cessation intervention service.

They noted that those using ecigs tended to be heavier smokers, and observed that after a one year follow up they were more likely to be still smoking tobacco cigarettes.

The trio concluded “The application of E‑cigarettes is counterproductive for smokers looking for help”. They attribute the failure of vaping to work as being due to the lack of instructions on how to use an electronic cigarette as a quit tool.

Unfortunately, their study overlooks a few key facts. We know that the flavour and delivery of nicotine is inferior in cigalike products. Also, without a support network, it can be an expensive initial process to find equipment and juice that works for the individual. Combine these factors with an unsupportive service and a stronger habit; it is obvious that this cohort will experience more difficulty. As vapers the world over will attest, vaping works as a quit tool and saves lives.

Dave Cross avatar

Dave Cross

Journalist at POTV
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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.

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