Most people who vape want to give up e-cigarettes, new research reveals.
About 10 million American adults – plus some 3.6 million teenagers – use e-cigarettes, which are intended to help adult smokers quit, but may be addicting themselves.
And most people who use e-cigarettes don’t make a full switch, instead using both traditional and electronic cigarettes.
But more than 60 percent would like to put down both products for good, according to new Rutgers University research.
Vaping has surged in popularity in recent years, but 60 percent of adult users now want to quit nicotine-delivery devices, according to new Rutgers University research (file)
The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has put a target on the back of the e-cigarette industry, as more and more teens have gotten hooked on vaping and, especially, ‘Juuling.’
But that hasn’t stopped more and more middle- and high school-age children, and adults, taking up e-cigarettes.
The devices took a while to catch on. The first e-cigarette was invented in 2003 in China, but the devices wouldn’t become mainstream for over a decade.
Since, however, they’ve become their own cultural meme, with use tripling among middle and high school students.
Among adults, use rates have doubled since 2012.
Although e-cigarettes are intended to help people quit smoking, they are more often used in addition to combustible tobacco.
‘Most of the discussion about e-cigarettes has focused on the relative harm as compared to traditional cigarettes, the efficacy of e-cigarettes as a cessation device, and the alarming increase of their use in children,’ said co-author of the new Rutgers study, Marc Steinberg, an associate professor of psychiatry there.
However, in 2015, for example, nearly 60 percent of adults that used e-cigarettes also smoked.
And a small percentage of people that had never smoked – as well as a larger proportion of teenagers and young adults – took up devices like the Juul alone.
E-cigarettes may not carry the same devastating cancer risks that their combustible cousins do (though it’s too soon to for research to say so conclusively) because they are ‘heat not burn’ devices and lack many of cigarettes’ most toxic chemicals.
But they share one key ingredient in common: nicotine, which does not directly cause cancer, but it most certainly causes addiction.
Most e-cigarettes contain even more nicotine than combustible cigarettes do.
One Juul pod, for example, contains about as much nicotine as an entire pack of cigarettes.
According to Juul, that’s about 200 puffs, equivalent to the lower end of the number of puffs it would take an average smoker to get through a combustible cigarette.
However, on Reddit forums, many users claim to go through a pod a day, though a few said a pod will last them weeks or months.
Even the lower nicotine-content Juul pods – which contain three percent nicotine, as opposed to the original five percent pods – still pack a bigger punch than a combustible cigarette does.
That powerful hit of nicotine in each puff of Juul makes it all the harder to put down, even if the user wants to.
It means, as with traditional cigarettes, the proportion of people that want to quit is a far cry from the number of people that actually do quit at any given time.
As of 2016, about 70 percent of smokers said they wanted to quit. Over 50 percent made an attempt to quit in 2015 – but less than eight percent successfully quit, according to the Truth Initiative.
Worryingly, the numbers are very similar for e-cigarette use.
According to the latest Rutgers research, 60 percent of the 10 million American e-cig users want to quit.
More than a quarter of the 1,771 people the Rutgers researchers surveyed had made an attempt to give up vaping in the past year, and 16 percent had a ‘plan’ to quit in the coming month.
It’s not clear how many e-cig users successfully quit.
The FDA has called for methods, medications and programs to help teen and adult vapers alike quit the devices.
‘The strategies that people reported using to quit e-cigarettes include many of the strategies we recommend for quitting traditional cigarettes such as FDA-approved nicotine replacement products or medications, counseling, and social support,’ said study author Rachel Rosen, a graduate student in the Department of Psychology.