Smoking relapse less likely among vapers, new research suggests

Smokers who switch to vaping can have the occasional cigarette without a complete relapse, new research suggests.

The study included 40 people who quit smoking by using e-cigarettes (vaping). About half said they had either brief or regular tobacco smoking relapses, particularly in social situations.

However, they didn't view such slip-ups as the end of their attempt to quit smoking.

Increased determination

"In the past, a brief smoking lapse would almost always lead to a full relapse, and people would usually feel like a failure for slipping up. But this was before people started switching to vaping", said lead researcher Caitlin Notley.

"The difference is that for some vapers (in this study), the odd cigarette was thought of as being 'allowed'. For others, an unintentional cigarette made them even more determined to maintain abstinence in the future," said Notley, of the University of East Anglia in England.

"Either way, it didn't necessarily lead to a full relapse back into smoking," she added in a university news release.

The findings suggest that use of e-cigarettes not only helps people quit smoking, but also can help prevent long-term smoking relapse, according to the authors.

The study was published in the journal Drug and Alcohol Review.

Image credit: iStock