Many U.S. smokers looking to e-cigarettes as smoking cessation aids, despite fact e-cigarettes not marketed as such, new study finds; 40% of people surveyed aware of vaping devices, with cigarette smokers showing highest awareness
August 7, 2012
– Electronic cigarettes are not marketed as smoking cessation aids, but a recent study published in the American Journal of Public Health suggests that many smokers are turning to them for just that reason.
The study, which was reported on the WebMD website, showed that smokers were far more aware of electronic cigarettes, and very likely to try them. This indicates it is likely that the devices are not attracting the interest of young people or non-smokers as some public health experts have feared.
Growing Awareness and Growing Use
"People have their own reasons for trying vapors," said Chad Maynard, spokesperson for ElectronicCigarette.net. "But no one is marketing them for that purpose and we couldn't say whether or not they would be effective. Our website is there to help people who decide to try vaping, learn more about it and make an informed choice about which brand to try, regardless of why they want to try them. Bottom line is that e-cigs are growing in popularity, though, no question about that."
Approximately 40% of those surveyed were aware of vaping devices, and the awareness was highest among cigarette smokers.
Currently, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not regulate them because they are not marketed as stop smoking devices. And manufactures seem happy to avoid promoting them that way, although it is increasingly clear that many smokers feel they are worth trying as a way to either kick the habit or cut down.
Back to Tobacco?
While some public health experts advocated for the Food and Drug Administration to ban the devices, others have raised the issue of what would happen to the growing number of people who are vaping, especially those who are former smokers.
On his blog tobaccoanalysis.blogspot, Dr. Michael Siegel of the Department of Community Health Sciences of Boston University School of Public Health raises concerns that pulling e-cigs off the market would push former smokers back to traditional cigarettes, damaging their health further.
Siegel also claims there is "ample evidence" that vaping poses much less risk to health than traditional smoking and that vaping devices provide an alternative to smoking to 1.8 million people.
"All we can do is wait and watch. We would welcome more research, but don't see any valid reason for an outright ban," Maynard said.
ElectronicCigarette.net is a website featuring reviews of most e-cigarette brands. Users are encouraged to post their observations so readers can learn from each other and discuss the pros and cons of different brands.