Could e-cigarettes lead a movement away from smoking?

By Grace Materne

            Since the invention and rise of alternative cigarette products, such as e-cigarettes and vaping devices, people question their social and health benefits. In a paper recently published in the journal of Preventive Medicine Reports, researchers studied 105 U.S Army Reserve and National Guard soldiers and their partners. The researchers observed the participants’ behaviors and opinions surrounding e-cigarettes. The study deducted that several factors determine the use and popularity of e-cigarettes, including user satisfaction, perceived danger, and product type.  Dr. Lynn Kozlowski, one of the lead researchers says that most people are mistaken and believe that e-cigarettes are more harmful than regular cigarettes. In addition, people believe e-cigarettes are less satisfying than normal cigarettes. These general opinions stop most smokers from switching.

             Multiple studies, however, negate the perceptions on e-cigarettes. Most participants found e-cigarettes to be as or even more satisfying than normal cigarettes. In fact, 58 percent believed e-cigarettes were more satisfying than normal cigarettes. Increased satisfaction ratings are important because a rise in user popularity decreases the false notion that e-cigarettes are more dangerous than normal cigarettes

             Some people worry that vaping and e-cigarettes are “gateways” to regular cigarettes. However, research supports that if e-cigarettes are as satisfying and safer than normal cigs, then it is less likely that someone will switch to normal cigarettes. Often, in today’s society, people dispute any type of cigarette or smoking device. Kozlowski responds saying this moto is an “irresponsible message”, instead we need to continue to show the harmful effects of normal cigarettes, and help people transition to vaping products. Although stopping all smoking is ideal, vaping and e-cigarette devices help people move away from the harmful effects of regular cigarettes.

 

University at Buffalo. "New study sheds light on perceptions of e-cigs." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 3 March 2017. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/03/170303180403.htm>.