Fewer relapses - with fruit and candy flavours

Flavours in e-cigs are important to avoid relapse to cigarettes, as are nicotine strength and hardware. This is according to a new British study.
"Those who quit smoking succeed by switching to more sophisticated devices combined with moving from tobacco flavours to fruit, candy and pastry flavours"

E-cigarettes have become the most popular way to quit. smoking in the UK. But how does the diverse range of products affect smokers' ability to quit for good? A research team in England wanted to find out. Studieswhich was funded by Cancer Research UK, looked at over 370 users who were asked questions about the type of e-cigarette they used when they started vejpa, the type they use now and how these choices affected their risk of relapse.

The researchers focused on three different types of e-cigarettes: simple unfillable cig-a-likes, smaller fillable vejp pens, and more advanced systems with a separate battery and tank. They also looked at nicotine levels and the choice of flavours in the e-juice.

Simpler appliances not as efficient

The vast majority in the study had started with a high nicotine strength (18mg/ml). 45% started with a vejp pen, while 38% started with a cig-a-like. 

Of those who managed to quit smoking completely, 70 per cent said they had later switched to a more advanced system with a separate tank and battery.

"At the same time, it was found that those who started with a cig-a-like relapsed into smoking, at a much higher rate than those who started with a more advanced system or simpler vejp pens. Only two of the respondents reported being smoke-free and still using a cig-a-like," the researchers write.

Reduces nicotine strength over time

In terms of nicotine strengths, the researchers saw a clear pattern here too. Those who started with a low nicotine strength combined with a less powerful e-cigarette were more likely to relapse into smoking. At the same time, the vast majority of people who succeeded in quitting smoking were found to gradually reduced nicotine strength as they acquired a more advanced device.

"The delivery of nicotine depends on both the power of the device and knowledge of how to best use it," the researchers say. "A rule of thumb also seems to be that nicotine strength is related to previous smoking habits."

Fruit and sweets replaced tobacco flavours

The choice of flavours also varied. Among beginners, more people chose to use different tobacco flavours. But over time, the variety increases. Daily users more often preferred fruit flavours (28%) compared to menthol (25%) and tobacco (26%).

'Our study shows that the choice of e-cigarette and e-liquid can influence the risk of relapse. Those who start with a simpler device and low nicotine content are more likely to fail. We see a pattern that shows that those who succeed do so by gradually moving to more advanced devices in combination with moving from tobacco flavours to fruit, candy and pastry flavours," the researchers write in the Harm Reduction Journal.


Reported patterns of vaping to support long-term abstinence from smoking: a cross-sectional survey of a convenience sample of vapers

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