E‐Cigarettes Associated With Lower Nicotine Dependence Than Cigarettes

It’s another win for research that continues to analyse the nicotine dependence in e-cigarettes as a substitute for cigarettes. Smoking cigarettes develops a dependence on nicotine and recent data looks to support the positive effect of e-cigarettes as a method of quitting, with the use of electronic devices as an alternative source of nicotine.

“In every comparison, ecigarette use was associated with significantly less dependence than cigarette smoking”. 

Researcher Saul Shiffman & Mark A. Sembower analysed cross sectional data from the Population Assessment of Tobacco and Health (PATH) – a national representative survey of tobacco use that enables population-based comparisons of dependence on cigarettes and e-cigarettes.

The study focused on different groupings of users to address the below questions:

  • How does dependence on e‐cigarettes compare to dependence on cigarettes?
  • How do residual symptoms of dependence differ between recent quitters of cigarettes and/or e‐cigarettes?
  • What degree of e‐cigarette dependence is seen among former smokers who have switched completely to e‐cigarettes, who may have shifted their nicotine dependence from cigarettes to e‐cigarettes?

Among the groups examined, the highest level of e‐cigarette dependence was reported by current e‐cigarette users who had been established cigarette smokers but had quit smoking in the past year. However, their e‐cigarette dependence was significantly lower than the cigarette dependence of current smokers.