Vaping Device May Help Cigarette Smokers Quit

Vaping Device May Help Cigarette Smokers Quit

Bottom Line: A new survey of roughly 19,000 JUUL vaping device users finds that nearly two-thirds of cigarette smokers were able to quit smoking as a result. Most of those respondents who continued to smoke cigarettes cut their intake by more than half. Among the respondents who weren’t cigarette smokers, 2.3 percent now are. These results suggest JUUL is an effective cigarette smoking-cessation tool, whose gateway effect to cigarette smoking is limited to non-existent.

Tobacco smoking remains the biggest cause of preventable death and disease in the U.S. Each year, 480,000 Americans die from smoking-related diseases. Roughly 16 million American adults currently suffer with a smoking-related disease. Most of the 8 million smoking-related deaths that are projected to occur globally between 2012 and 2030 will be among people who are currently smoking, not those who have yet to start. Quitting is notoriously difficult.

JUUL vapor products are not marketed as smoking-cessation tools but as an alternative to smoking tobacco. They are the fastest growing and highest selling e-cigarette/vapor product in the U.S., making up half of market share. Tobacco and nicotine products such as JUUL present a significantly reduced health risk relative to smoking cigarettes. Understanding whether they displace cigarette smoking or contribute to it, therefore, is vitally important. 

Researchers at the independent Centre for Substance Use Research in Glasgow surveyed 18,799 JUUL users and their results suggest JUUL helps cigarette smokers quit, while providing a limited-to-nonexistent gateway effect. Top line results include:

  • Of the 11,689 participants who were cigarette smokers when they first used a JUUL, nearly two-thirds (64.3 percent) quit cigarette smoking. 
  • Of those who quit cigarette smoking, about half (49.5 percent) reported they “quit smoking cigarettes by switching to using a JUUL.”
  • Of the 3,894 participants who still smoked cigarettes who were smoking at least 6 cigarettes per day when they first used a JUUL, more than half (56.3 percent) now smoke between 50 percent and 99 percent fewer cigarettes per day.
  • Of the 2,385 participants who had never smoked a cigarette when they first used a JUUL, 2.3 percent are now current smokers.

These results show that for every one participant who started smoking cigarettes after using JUUL, 137 participants quit. Many more significantly reduced the number of cigarettes they smoke.

Read the full report: Russell, C., McKeganey, N and Haseen, F., “Transitions in Cigarette Smoking Associated with Use of the JUUL Vaping Device Among 18,799 Adults in the United States. 2018,” Centre for Substance Use Research: Glasgow, UK.

Read our charticle based on the report here.

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