The study which was published earlier this week in the journal Nicotine & Tobacco Research, might shed some light as to why various studies pertaining to the effectiveness of the products have obtained different results.
The researchers analysed data collected from 1,700 smokers via a longitudinal cohort survey carried out between 2010 and 2014. The study subjects hailed from the US, the UK, Canada, and Australia, and at the time of the research, the US and the UK had relatively milder regulations imposed, while the other two countries had harsher restrictions in place.
The researchers looked at the respondents’ cessation attempts, tools used, and the periods of successful abstinence. The data collected found that in the US and the UK, where the regulations where milder 73% quit successfully, as opposed to 32% in Canada and Australia.
“The benefits of ECs for smoking cessation may be limited to those who reside in an environment where there are few restrictions on the retail sale and marketing of ECs.” said Dr. Hua-Hie Yong, lead author at Cancer Council Victoria. “Developing an appropriate regulatory framework for ECs should be a priority so that the benefits of ECs for smoking cessation can be realized. Where the regulatory environment supports it, given the popularity of ECs, smokers who are unable or unwilling to quit using current approved methods should be offered the option of using ECs as short-term aids to quit smoking or replacing smoking with ECs for harm reduction purposes.” she concluded.
How have things evolved since 2014?
Since this study was carried out, attitudes towards vaping products in some of the countries mentioned have shifted. In the US, the FDA has introduced the infamous deeming rule, and the country in general has a adopted a forbidding stance towards e-cigarettes, making the products unaccessible to consumers. On the other hand Canada is currently weighing the idea of endorsing the products for harm reduction. The UK continues to make progress and has become a leader in successfully incorporating the products as part of smoking cessation programs. This has led to the country reporting the lowest number of smokers ever recorded.