With the rise of vaping following the turn of the 21st century, certain questions arose in the face of the new technology. These questions were things like:
“What are the negative effects?”
“Who should be allowed to vape?”
“What is in the vape juice/E-liquid?”
However, the biggest question that came to light was whether vaping could actually serve as an avenue to help nicotine addicts stop smoking.
So what’s the answer?
This has been a long-debated question with no solid or official studies to back up the answer one way or the other. However, that may all be about to change.
Recently, five NHS Accident and Emergency departments within the UK announced they would be taking part in an E-cig trial to answer this very query. This trial will be conducted by researchers at the University of Anglia and could put an end to an age-old debate.
The study will begin by offering smokers who visit emergency services advice on quitting.
Patients taking part in this study will be split up into two groups. The first group will receive a vaping device and enough e-liquid for a week, along with smoking cessation leaflets. The second group, which will act as the control, will be given brochures and advice on how to stop smoking. At the end of a thirty-month period, a poll will be taken as to how many managed to get clean and stay clean.
This trial was prompted by recent public studies that boasted alarming results. Mintel, a global market research firm, recently released data that found 39% of smokers had increased their consumption in the light of COVID-19 and the subsequent quarantining. It also revealed 10% of those who had already quit kicked their habit back up to help manage the stress of the pandemic.
The news of this study is a light in the dark in the face of an alarming public opinion poll where only 2 out of 5 smokers in Great Britain were able to identify that smoking was more harmful than vaping.
This number began to fall due to several falsified news stories that published harmful and misleading information. Following these releases, public opinion was never rebalanced. This study seeks to change that.
The UK Vaping Industry Association (UKVIA) chimed in on this topic: “For years, the UKVIA has campaigned for vaping to be recognised as the best and most effective method for reducing smoking, with health protection organisations including Public Health England and Cancer Research UK all backing e-cigarettes’ use in cessation services.”
Furthermore, this study seems to be a desirable option to begin swaying public opinion back in the right direction, as it could introduce vaping to a demographic that never considered it a choice, whether that be due to cost or unaddressed safety fears regarding vaping devices.
NHS has already stated they find vaping to be much less harmful than actual cigarettes, but now they are on a mission to prove that to the world.