New study from well-known researchers shows lower nicotine dependence from e-cigs than from cigarettes

A new report based on responses to an online survey conducted by Penn State tobacco and nicotine expert Jonathan Foulds and colleagues confirms the common sense observation: e-cig users (“vapers”) are significantly less addicted to nicotine than are cigarette smokers. The responses from 3,500 vapers to a standardized set of questions known as the Penn State Cigarette Dependence Index and the Penn State Electronic Cigarette Dependence Index were tabulated. Higher nicotine concentration in e-cig liquid, as well as use of advanced second-generation e-cigs, which deliver nicotine more efficiently than earlier “cigalikes,” predicted dependence. Consumers who had used e-cigs longer also appeared to be more addicted. “However, people with all the characteristics of a more dependent e-cig user still had a lower e-cig dependence score than their cigarette dependence score,” Foulds said. “We think this is because they’re getting less nicotine from the e-cigs than they were getting from cigarettes….This is a new class of products that’s not yet regulated….It has the potential to do good and help a lot of people quit, but it also has the potential to do harm. Continuing to smoke and use e-cigarettes may not reduce health risks. Kids who have never smoked might begin nicotine addiction with e-cigs. There’s a need for a better understanding of these products.
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