Some people are going to choose to smoke cigarettes because it’s safer than other forms of tobacco, a new study has found.
The findings are significant because it suggests that the public health message to smokers is no longer correct, says Richard Lutz, director of the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at Boston University.
“The fact that smokers are going back to cigarettes because they’re much safer than a lot of other forms is not a new phenomenon,” he says.
“But it is a very strong reminder that, no matter what, people are still choosing cigarettes as their primary source of nicotine.”
The study, which surveyed 1,200 people in five U.S. states, looked at the use of cigarettes, e-cigarettes and vaping.
It found that smokers who used e-cigarette liquids had a lower likelihood of quitting compared to people who used regular cigarettes, but there were no differences in the use among people who vape.
“People who use e-cigs are more likely to be smokers, they’re more likely not to use regular cigarettes and they’re going to use them as a substitute for regular cigarettes,” Lutz says.
“And so we see a lot more people who are trying to quit smoking, and it’s not because they think they’re better off.”
People who vape have been shown to be much safer, but Lutz thinks that this is a temporary trend.
“It’s very likely that this temporary shift is going to be followed by a long-term change,” he explains.
“If you go back and look at smoking and the number of people who smoke, the number who are still smoking is very, very small.
There’s just so many more people using cigarettes.”
The findings of the study come from a 2014 study in which scientists found that vaping was less harmful to health than smoking, even though the study looked at only one year.
Researchers from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill and University of Maryland found that people who use electronic cigarettes were no more likely than non-vaping users to report having suffered a health problem in the previous year.
While there are many factors that can make a person quit smoking and it takes months to quit a cigarette, the researchers say it may not be the only reason people choose to use electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS).
“People are trying out electronic nicotine devices, and people are doing a lot to try and make electronic nicotine products safer,” says Dr. Sarah Lippman, an associate professor at the Johns Hopkins University School of Public Health and a lead author of the report.
“I don’t think people are necessarily trying to avoid tobacco, but I think they want to have more options to quit.”
The report also found that there are some health benefits to vaping.
“Vaping is less harmful than smoking and less harmful for long-distance smokers than traditional cigarettes, the authors said.”
Vaping may also reduce the risk of adverse health consequences associated with traditional smoking.
“The researchers also found no differences between people who inhale the aerosol from a vape and people who exhale it.”
While we cannot prove the actual harmfulness of e-liquid, we have not observed any evidence of any harmful effects associated with e-vapor use,” the authors concluded.