Smokers who were inclined to pick up tobacco cigarettes have grown more aware of the various negatives that tobacco possesses and have slowly turned to “vaping.”

However, the question lingers, “Do vapes help people who are accustomed to the traditional nicotine, tobacco cigarettes kick the habit?”

A recent study held by a Hollings Cancer Center researcher found that smokers who are willing to start vaping tend to quit their tobacco intake.

“Combustible cigarettes are the most harmful form of nicotine delivery. Alternative delivery of nicotine, through e-cigarettes, could significantly reduce harm and the risks of cancer and other diseases to smokers,” said Matthew Carpenter, Ph.D., a tobacco control and addiction expert at the cancer centre at the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) in a press release.

The study, funded by the National Institutes of Health, studied vapes and compared it to usage, product preference, nicotine exposure and changes in smoking behaviours of existing traditional cigarette smokers who switched to the healthier alternative.

In the evaluation, Sixty-eight smokers were hand-picked: out of which, 46 were randomised to use vapes as per their preference, and 22 were randomised to a control group, said the release. 

The selection of people who were allowed to use vapes were given devices with either low or high dose of nicotine, which remained constant throughout the four-month duration of the study.

The results brought to life that people using vapes quit tobacco and went on to purchase their own e-cigarettes. This inclination suggested that vapes might give smokers a suitable alternative to combustible cigarettes.

“The results are consistent with trials done outside the U.S.,” Carpenter said in the release. “Many people rated the e-cigarettes similar to their usual product, which further suggests that these products might promote switching. Anything that gets smokers off combustible cigarettes is a good thing.”

Amongst the two models of vapes used in the study, the one with the higher nicotine dosage showed stronger and better outcomes.

The study found that people who never smoked tobacco but smoked vapes smoked an average of 37% less.This was seen by Carpenter as a positive result.

Smoking tobacco has been proven to be the leading cause of cancer and also hampers the cancer treatments. Once a person quits cigarettes, the life expectancy is seen to grow substantially than those people who continue to smoke.

Carpenter, however, cautioned that while vapes may help people smoke less or even quit, they are not for everyone. “It is important to protect non-smokers, particularly adolescents and young adults, from starting any nicotine-containing product. This is something we need to really guard against.”