Do Electronic Cigarettes Help People Quit?

Do a quick search of social media, blogs, and message boards, and you’ll come up with many testimonials from people who claim that switching to an electronic cigarette helped them stop using tobacco. The anecdotal evidence supporting the use of vapor pens to kick the habit is strong, but can a vaporizer pen really help you quit?

The answer is “maybe.” These are four things that you need to know about using a hookah pen or ecig to quit smoking.

  1. The FDA Has Not Approved Vapor Pens for Use as Smoking Cessation Treatments. In the U.S., products cannot be advertised as devices to help people quit smoking unless they are approved by the FDA as smoking cessation aids. At this time, the FDA has only approved prescription drugs and nicotine replacement therapy products like the nicotine patch and nicotine lozenges as smoking cessation treatments. This doesn’t mean that an electronic cigarette won’t help you quit smoking. What it means is that no company can say that a hookah pen will help you quit, and that the FDA has not evaluated vapor pens to see if they are beneficial for everyone.
  1. Only a Few Studies about Using an Ecig to Quit Have Been Done. Electronic cigarettes are relatively new products, so researchers are only beginning to evaluate them. This means that there isn’t a large body of research available to prove or disprove that using a hookah pen can help you quit. There have been a small number of studies that showed that people can quit with the help of a vaporizer pen, such as seen here but the long-term success rate hasn’t been shown to be any better than approved smoking cessation aids like the patch or nicotine gum.
  1. Some Experts Worry that Vapor Pens Are Gateways to Smoking. One of the biggest criticisms of ecig products is that they may make people start smoking rather than stop. There is a worry among public health professionals that teenagers are especially likely to begin vaping and then move on to tobacco. So far, there has only been one small study done by the UCSF Center for Tobacco Control Research that supports this belief. No other studies have proven that the vaporizer pen increases the likelihood of smoking in teens or adults.
  1. Electronic Cigarettes May Not Be Completely Safe. Nearly all experts agree that there are less toxins in the vapor that comes from an electronic cigarette than there are in the smoke produced by a tobacco cigarette, but that doesn’t mean that ecig vapor is completely free of toxins. Some studies have found small traces of toxic substances like cadmium, nickel, and lead in vapor. Using a vapor pen can also put you at risk for respiratory side effects like coughing or shortness of breath.

So can an electronic cigarette help you to quit smoking? The answer is maybe. Talk to your doctor if you want to quit. He or she can help you weigh the risks and benefits of using a vaporizer pen and options and aids to help you quit.

Reference: BusinessInsider