The topic of e-cigarettes has been hot ever since their introduction to the market. While some say they have helped smokers quit entirely, others say they have introduced tobacco to a new generation of users.
The nation was first introduced to e-cigarettes in 2004, changing the landscape of smoking for the next 15 years. Today’s polls show that 10.8 million Americans are now vaping for reasons that vary across the board.
An analysis published in the Annals of Internal Medicine found that 54.6 percent of e-cigarette users were also smoking cigarettes. Nearly 15 percent of vapers had never smoked cigarettes, and 30.4 percent had quit smoking them altogether.
That means nearly 3 million American adults have quit smoking by slowly weaning themselves off of cigarettes through vaping products.
While pro-vaping groups, such as the Vapor Technology Association (VTA), have pushed the idea of vaping as way to quit smoking entirely, anti-smoking groups have yet to acknowledge the use of vape pens as a realistic, healthy, and safe way to do so.
“E-cigarettes are not approved by the FDA as a quit smoking aid,” states smokefree.gov. “So far, the research shows there is limited evidence that e-cigarettes are effective for helping smokers quit. There are other proven, safe, and effective methods for quitting smoking.”
The VTA’s response to naysayers defends its product by way of both health and marketing standards.
“VTA strongly supports efforts to prevent Minors’ access to Vapor Products and VTA embraces marketing restrictions that will reduce Minors’ exposure to marketing of and promotions for Vapor Products,” the VTA Marketing Standards for Membership states.
“At the same time, VTA is committed to ensuring that adult smokers have equal access to truthful and factual information about Vapor Products, as well as a wide array of Vapor Products. Hence, VTA will continue to advocate for new regulations that properly recognize the game changing role that safe and innovative Vapor Products will continue to play in reducing, if not eliminating altogether, adult smokers’ dependence on combustible cigarettes.”
With a highly evolving market comes highly evolved studies, identifying who corners the vaping market and why.
“E-cigarette use is common, especially in younger adults, LGBT persons, current cigarette smokers, and persons with comorbid conditions,” the Annals of Internal Medicine study states. “The prevalence of use differs across states. These contemporary estimates may inform researchers, health care policymakers, and tobacco regulators about demographic and geographic distributions of e-cigarette use.”
As the battle continues between the cigarette, e-cigarette, and anti-smoking markets, tests and FDA regulations continue to mount, potentially opening the door to transparency for the general public — at least statistically speaking.