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E-Cigarettes Less Addictive Than Cigarettes, Researchers Say

Electronic Cigarette appear to be less addictive than cigarettes in former smokers, and this could help improve understanding of how various nicotine delivery devices lead to dependence, according to researchers at Penn State Hershey College of Medicine, Hershey, Pa.

"We found that e-cigarettes appear to be less addictive than tobacco cigarettes in a large sample of long-term users," said Jonathan Foulds, Ph.D., professor of public health sciences and psychiatry at Penn State Hershey.

The popularity of e-cigarettes, which typically deliver nicotine, propylene glycol, glycerin and flavorings through inhaled vapor, has increased in the past five years. There are currently more than 400 brands of e-cigarettes available. E-cigarettes contain far fewer cancer-causing and other toxic substances than cigarettes, the researchers said; however, their long-term effects on health and nicotine dependence are unknown.

To study e-cigarette dependence, the researchers developed an online survey, including questions designed to assess previous dependence on cigarettes and almost identical questions to assess current dependence on e-cigarettes. More than 3,500 current users of e-cigarettes who were ex-cigarette smokers completed the Penn State Cigarette Dependence Index and the Penn State Electronic Cigarette Dependence Index.

Higher nicotine concentration in e-cigarette liquid, as well as use of advanced second-generation e-cigarettes, which deliver nicotine more efficiently than earlier "cigalikes," predicted dependence. Consumers who had used e-cigarettes longer also appeared to be more addicted.vladdin vape

"However, people with all the characteristics of a more dependent e-cig user (e.g., longer use of an advanced e-cig with a high nicotine concentration in the liquid) in our study still had a lower e-cig dependence score than their cigarette dependence score," Foulds said. "We think this is because they're getting less nicotine from the e-cigs than they were getting from cigarettes."

Although many regular users of e-cigarettes are trying to quit smoking, the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) has not approved them for this use, and they cannot be marketed as a smoking cessation product.

"This is a new class of products that's not yet regulated," Foulds said. "It has the potential to do good and help a lot of people quit, but it also has the potential to do harm. Continuing to smoke and use e-cigarettes may not reduce health risks. Kids who have never smoked might begin nicotine addiction with e-cigs. There's a need for a better understanding of these products."

He continued, "We don't have long-term health data of e-cig use yet, but any common-sense analysis says that e-cigs are much less toxic. And our paper shows that they appear to be much less addictive, as well. So in both measures, they seem to have advantages when you're concerned about health."

The findings, which are published in the journal Nicotine & Tobacco Research, also have implications for developing e-cigarettes for smoking cessation.u2022eney7485yyWEEEEDD

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