In the past few months there have been several published studies relating to user-based opinions on e-cigarette use. In general, these studies reported that users view e-cigarettes as safer than tobacco products as well as less addictive. The studies generated a debate as to whether e-cigarettes are a gateway to tobacco use or if instead they are effective in reducing tobacco usage among adolescents and teenagers. Interestingly, there are only a few detailed studies that have addressed this issue. The limited data shows that e-cigarettes are at least moderately effective as alternatives for people actively trying to quit tobacco.
In a related study, British investigators recently reported that e-cigarettes were helpful for people already attempting to quit tobacco, but their presence as an alternative did not increase the overall number of quit attempts or usage of other quitting aids. Alternatively, a recent German study reported that e-cigarettes were used primarily as alternatives to tobacco and nicotine substitutes.
There is at least one study that suggest that as “vaping” becomes more prominent, more and more people are starting to smoke e-cigarettes without ever having used tobacco products. Other studies have also assessed the role of e-cigarettes in the context of social interactions. The data suggests that these social interactions may be causing teens to start smoking and are an important driving factor toward e-cigarette usage, especially if e-cigarettes are viewed as safer alternatives to tobacco. Similarly, another study showed that 8th and 11th graders in Oregon reported that e-cigarettes were the most common form of smoking.
The efficacy of e-cigarettes as a smoking cessation tool and as a safer alternative to traditional tobacco products is still up for debate as additional studies are being conducted. If you would like more information, you can contact Will Sutton in our Toxic Torts Section. Will can be reached at 800-898-2034 or by email at William.Sutton@beasleyallen.com.
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