Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Vaping in the News

We haven't posted on vaping in a while; last time we looked it was in relation to how The ObamaTax treated it for rating purposes (Spoiler Alert: Smoking/Vaping bad, Meth use fine). It's important to distinguish between vaping e-liquid with nicotine extract vs completely nicotine-free. Although artificial nicotine is available, there's really no way for the consumer or an underwriter to know whether or not any nicotine present in the e-liquid is artificial or tobacco-extracted.

But there's another vaping-related controversy: is it a gateway to cigarette use, or a path away from tobacco? This has been a long-running battle, with both sides claiming (perhaps justifiably) that the science was in their favor.

Recent new evidence has come to light, though, which seems to bolster one side's position:

"Latest Data from England Refute Argument that E-Cigarettes Do Not Help Smokers Quit"

In a recent study, English researchers found that the success rate for folks trying to kick the tobacco habit has increased "dramatically" in recent years. They set about trying to determine what, exactly, is driving this positive new trend, and proposed the hypothesis that "a shift in methods used for quitting is propelling this change." And what would that method shift entail? Well:

"Starting in 2011 and coinciding precisely with the increased quit rate was a dramatic shift away from the use of nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) in quit attempts and towards the use of electronic cigarettes."

So, not so much the patch as the e-cig? There's apparently some decent enough info to back that up, but they hinge on the fact that "[p]rior to 2011, virtually no smokers in England were using e-cigarettes to try to quit smoking, while approximately 30% were using NRT." That makes sense, but it's also important to remember that *correlation ≠ causation."

So, promising to be sure, but still a ways from being dispositive.
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