Electronic Cigarettes Apparently Do Not Help Combat Smoking Addiction

electronic cigarettes

When I was in high school, I distinctly remember one person in my class smoking an electronic cigarette by our lockers. I was confused, having never seen one prior, but he assured us all that it was “healthier” and that it was making him quit smoking. I then saw him later that year chain smoking Parliaments outside the dining hall, so I’m assuming that the little vapor stick didn’t work as well as it was supposed to. Nevertheless, I have since heard numerous people tout it as being an effective way to help smokers quit their addiction to cigarettes.

As it turns out, this is an unproven hypothesis with no researched evidence to back it up. A study by the Italian Health Ministry released today says that there’s no scientific proof to show that e-cigarettes are useful in helping people stop smoking, nor should young people use them because they are still delivering nicotine into the bloodstream. Plus, the study notes concern that those who use electronic cigarettes may actually wind up “graduating” into smoking real ones.

According to ABC News, an electronic cigarette is “basically an electronic inhaler… that vaporizes liquid. Some of the aroma solutions contain nicotine indifferent concentrations. It produces a smoke-like vapor that simulates the act of tobacco smoking and when inhaled delivers the nicotine, if used in the liquid-base, into the bloodstream via the lungs.”

Since it’s technically smoke-free, it’s often seen as “safer.” But Roberta Pacifici, director of Italy Observatory on Smoking, Alcohol and Drug Use at the National Health Institute, says that while they can “say that the electronic cigarette is less toxic… we cannot say that it is totally innocuous.” It is best to stay away, and especially to keep young people from trying them and finding themselves addicted to nicotine.

As I have mentioned before, I used to be a frequent smoker. One commenter on that article even recommended that if I found myself occasionally wanting a cigarette, I should try an e-cigarette, but as she also said, “It is almost as good as the real deal.. almost.” And therein lies the problem for most people who are used to actual cigarettes — e-cigarettes simply don’t have the same taste or feeling or nostalgia that many smokers connect with the typical ones. Unfortunately, all of those things (in addition to the chemical addiction) wind up contributing to why smokers have such a hard time quitting.

In my opinion, it’s best to just acknowledge that you really enjoy the actual act of smoking a cigarette, but then further recognize that the cons infinitely outweigh those perceived benefits, so there’s no use in trying to find a substitute for many of us — simply quitting 100% is the only answer. Not electronic cigarettes, not hookah, not cigars; just stopping the act of taking in nicotine and/or smoke. Obviously, this is simply my own opinion based on the habits of myself and others I know (so take it with a grain of salt), but I can say that I won’t be putting my faith in e-cigarettes or any other alternatives anytime soon.

Photo: Shutterstock

Share This Post:
    • Owen Engle

      The assumption of this article is that e-cigarettes are used to quit the nicotine addiction. That is simply not true. E-Cigarettes contain nicotine and they are used to quit tobacco cigarettes. Big difference! A recently conducted survey shows that over 90% of e-cig users feel better and that their families support the switch.

      Further testimonials show that users of e-cigarettes feel like they “quit” because they no longer need tobacco cigarettes with thousands of carcinogens, tar, and bad odor.

    • http://www.facebook.com/edgeofidaho Chris Edgell

      Well, I quit smoking “real” cigarettes 52 days ago and use ecigs exclusively now. Yes, I still ingest nicotine, but I’m not overly concerned with that. Just as I don’t lose sleep over the caffeine I drink. The success lies in quitting smoking, which I did. An I still addicted to nicotine? Yes, and I can live with that. It’s pretty innocuous, and I can choose to lower the nicotine levels I use. “FDA-approved” gums and patches are used in the same way, and many people use them for YEARS. At least I’m getting some enjoyment out of my vice.

      I think it would do people well to look past this “study” that was released (yet no one can seem to find it online) at the other studies that have been done, proving that ecigs are more effective than traditional NRTs (which are well known to work quite poorly, but are touted as your only real option if you want to quit). There’s also the anecdotal evidence – tens of thousands of people that have already quit by using them. Just because something hadn’t been shown in a lab doesn’t make it not exist.

      If you want to quit – do your own research. Read the studies, learn about the actual dangers of nicotine. Look at who will lose money as vaping overtakes smoking. These “studies” and opinions make a lot more sense when you stop being naive and realize that for most of those in power, it’s not about our health.

    • SavEcig

      I was against cigarette taxes when I smoked. But since I switched to electronic cigarettes two years ago, I don’t have to worry about smoking bans, tar, smell or really high cigarette taxes! http://www.savecig.com

    • http://www.optimacigs.com/cartridges.html Ambrose Dennis

      Electronic cigarettes can help you to quit smoking, you just switch to them and than gradually select low nicotine levels until you reach zero.

    • http://internationalvaporgroup.com/wholesale.aspx Mason Connor

      Well they helped me, it is been six months i am using electronic cigarette and pretty much satisfies with the results.

    • Kim Ezarik

      Electronic cigarettes do help people quit smoking. There may not be any scientific evidence backing it up, but I can speak from experience. The device has helped me get a hang of my smoking. With my Smokesation (http://www.smokesation.com) e-cigarette with me, I do not indulge in smoking real cigarettes all the time. A few drags of the e-cig usually help me deal with the cravings.