Electronic cigarettes don’t work for everybody. Some quit smoking entirely after starting to vape, some just continue smoking, and some do both, becoming “dual users.” Understanding the difference between those who exclusively vape and those who transition to dual use is an important priority for researchers.
A new survey published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (Dr. Konstantinos Farsalinos) examines this issue, looking at information provided by over 19,000 vapers and dual users. The sample was largely composed of “dedicated” vapers, forum users and those active within the online community.
Summary of Results
- 19,441 people participated in the survey, with the vast majority being from Europe and America.
- Most found out about the survey through forums, and their dedication to vaping is expected to be responsible for the high rate of smoking cessation in the group, with 81 percent having quit smoking entirely.
- As a result of participants’ level of dedication to vaping, the results might not be applicable to the general population.
- Dual users reduced their daily cigarette consumption from an average of 20 to 4 cigarettes.
- The vast majority of vapers believe that electronic cigarettes are safer than tobacco cigarettes, this being the most common reason for using them. However, 11 percent of users (mostly former smokers) believe that electronic cigarettes are completely harmless, which is not true.
- Out of the entire sample, only 0.5 percent (88 people) was non-smokers at the time they started vaping, and just over half of them used non-nicotine liquids.
- Most vapers used 18 mg/ml liquids at first, and then dropped to 12 mg/ml. Over a fifth used liquids with more than 20 mg/ml of nicotine, and these were significantly more likely to have quit smoking than those using lower levels at first.
- 58 percent of users experienced some type of side effect from vaping, with the most common being dry or sore mouth or throat, coughing (most common in dual users) and gum problems,
- Accidents were very rare – e-liquid exposure was the most common accident, and only 1.5 percent of participants had experienced it.