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Science and Studies

PATH Study Shows Vaping Less Addictive Than Smoking

A recent study by Penn State College of Medicine researchers has found that people who regularly vape are less dependent on their vaping device than those who regularly smoke traditional cigarettes. In other words, smokers are heavily relying on smoking their cigarettes, while vapers aren’t as reliant or dependent on vaping an e-cigarette.

We’re quite aware that there are many people who often visit this blog that isn’t up to speed with what vaping or a vaping device is, so a quick run-down of how this works seems reasonable. An e-cigarette is a battery-powered device that will heat and vaporize a liquid mixture known as e-liquid. This e-liquid product contains propylene glycol, vegetable glycerin, nicotine, and flavorings to enhance the experience.

While many believe that vaping, even the experts, is less toxic than smoking and could even help people quit smoking, there are still some that question other factors, such as a raised concern that vaping could cause nicotine dependence and lead to smoking. In 2016 the Surgeon General call for more research on the use and health impact of vaping, so many health experts and government regulators have been waiting for the first results of the Population Assessment of Tobacco and Health (PATH) study, which is a rather complex and ongoing national survey of tobacco use among more than 30,000 young people and adults. Where Penn State comes into play in all this is when the Penn State College of Medicine analyzed the responses to surveys taken in that PATH study.  In these responses, they looked for daily or almost daily users of either vapers or smokers. Here are results:

  • Out of 32,320 survey participants, 3,586 fit the study criteria.
  • 5% of those participants exclusively vaped and 95% exclusively vaped.
  • 93% of the vapers once regularly smoked and 7% experimented with smoking.
  • Vapers waited longer to start vaping after waking up compared to smokers.
  • Vapers were less likely to consider themselves addicted, to have strong cravings or to feel like they really needed to vape, compared to smokers.
  • Vapers were less likely to say they found it difficult to refrain from vaping in restricted places, compared to smokers.

Though all of the participants in the analysis were considered dependent due to their regularity of use, the study’s lead author, Guodong Liu, the assistant professor of public health sciences said that the findings indicated vapers were relatively less dependent than smokers. In fact, Liu said “no doubt about it, vaping is addictive, but not at the same level as smoking traditional cigarettes.”

You can read more on this topic by visiting Penn State Health News.

About the author

Blake Brown

Blake is the owner and creator of the Guide To Vaping blog. He has expressed his passion for the vaping industry through his deeply rooted and highly informative content. Being a writer and content provider for the vaping industry for year's, Blake has also gained experience from working with multiple blogs and well respected companies.

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