Can vaping help people quit smoking? Maybe not.

Vapes are unquestionably popular. Most users say that they vape in order to quit or to cut down on cigarettes. But, has that actually been proven?

The vaping and smoking conundrum

The idea that vaping helps people smoke fewer cigarettes isn’t supported by the evidence so far. Studies of the number of cigarettes foregone by vapers who still smoke have shown that, compared with smokers who never vape, the average daily cigarette consumption is very similar.

Data from 2019 from the UK government’s annual Opinions and Lifestyle Survey also show the average number of cigarettes smoked daily by smokers who vape (8 a day) is almost identical to that by smokers who have never vaped (8.1 a day).

Randomised controlled trials by Cochrane compared vaping with other methods of quitting smoking via nicotine replacement therapy (such as drugs, gums and patches). It found about 82% of people who vape are still smoking when followed up six or more months later.

Which is better than the number of people using nicotine replacement therapy, of which 90% were still smoking.

This illustrates that neither nicotine replacement therapy or vapes are hugely disruptive to smoking.

The crackdown is coming

As announced earlier this month, the government is going to crack down on smoking and vaping, particularly among young Australians. Its two primary objectives are to make it harder for children and non-smokers to access vapes and to allow people trying to quit smoking to access nicotine vapes with a prescription.

The prescription vapes access scheme’s most important aim is to, hopefully, massively reduce access to vapes for children. State governments will start hitting retailers illegally selling with massive fines and Border Security will do the same with importing suppliers.

Preventing new generations from becoming addicted to nicotine and from starting smoking is of utmost importance.

Opinions or facts expressed within the content have been sourced from various news sources. While every effort has been taken to source them accurately, the pharmacy, its owners, staff or other affiliates do not take any responsibility for errors in these sources. Patients should not rely on the facts or opinions in the content to manage their own health, and should seek the advice of an appropriate medical professional. Further, the opinions or facts in the content do not reflect the opinions and beliefs of the pharmacy, its owners, staff or other affiliates. 

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