New Study Suggests E-Cigarettes Help Smokers Quit

CNN- The question of whether e-cigarettes can help people quit smoking is hotly debated. Studies looking at the effectiveness of the devices as cessation aids have been unclear, but at best, they suggest that they work about as well as nicotine patches.

The uncertainty surrounding use of e cigarette, also known as vaping, did not stop a government body in the United Kingdom from concluding in a new report that e-cigarettes could help people quit smoking.

The report, published by Public Health England, stated that e-cigarettes are 95 percent safer than normal cigarettes, and that the “public health opportunities” of these devices should be maximized. The authors of the report recommended that a range of prescription-based e-cigarette options be available, as there are for nicotine replacement therapies.

“I agree with the UK, which is that they are going to medically license e-cigarettes and make them available in the context of smoking cessation aids, as opposed to in this country, (where) they are advertised in every way except for cessation,” said Michael P. Eriksen, dean of the Georgia State University School of Public Health.

“But I think (the report) is overstating the evidence that e-cigarettes are a miracle for cessation,” Eriksen said. The devices do appear to help people quit about as much as nicotine replacement therapies do, yet most smokers are still not successful at quitting, he said.

For those who use e-cigarettes as a cessation aid, the goal is for them to switch entirely to the products and then to eventually give them up, too. “That would be a major public health accomplishment,” Eriksen said.

Many people are so-called dual smokers, using both tobacco and electronic cigarettes, and it is unclear whether they eventually phase out the former. Because of the level of nicotine in e-cigarettes, quitting could be just as tough as giving up the regular kind, said Dr. Jason Jerry, an addiction specialist at Cleveland Clinic.

Although e-cigarettes are probably safer than tobacco cigarettes, the estimate of 95 percent is probably too high, Eriksen said. That number is based on the opinion of experts, not scientific studies, and could make ex-smokers think they can start vaping, he added.

Instead of e-cigarettes, Jerry advises patients try nicotine replacement therapy. The level of nicotine in those therapies is known and regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, whereas the level can vary among vaping products, he said. There are also health concerns with the propylene glycol, a main ingredient in many e-cigarettes, flavoring and additives.

“E-cigarettes are probably less detrimental to our health than tobacco cigarettes, but there is still a lot we don’t know,” Jerry said.

If e-cigarettes did become licensed in the United Kingdom, it could make them safer because there would be more regulation of the ingredients, Eriksen said. The upside for companies would be that they could then make claims about their product being a smoking cessation aid. To date no e-cigarettes have been licensed in the United Kingdom, although the new report encourages licensing.

There are no federal regulations on e-cigarettes in the United States. “Everyone is waiting on the FDA,” Eriksen said. The Obama administration has requested the authority to regulate the products like regular cigarettes.

“The UK and European Union are farther ahead … and the U.S. could follow what they’ve done,” Eriksen said. The EU regulations include a ban on advertising e-cigarettes and a requirement that products have health labels.

Many states in the United States have rules about where people can vape and rules that prevent the sale of e-cigarettes to minors. There is concern “whether this is a much more appealing product to adolescents with all the bubble gum and other flavors,” Jerry said.

A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report found the use of e-cigarettes among high school students tripled from 4.5 percent in 2013 to 13 percent in 2014. In that time, use grew among middle schoolers from 1 percent to 4 percent.

E-cigarette for Beginners- Innokin’s iTaste VV4!

Following the growth of e cigarette, there have also been many people switching to the use of these devices. However, it has always been recommended that beginners choose the right device to start off with. For example, the bigger and more powerful mod devices may be too burdensome for beginners who have just started to vape. According to the ecigguide, “the vv3 (prior to the vv4) was probably one of the best-selling mods of 2014 and it helped thousands of smokers to cut down on or quit tobacco entirely mainly because of the performance to price range ratio that went almost unbeatable.” However, the newer “iTaste VV4 is an eGo style battery but rather than going with the traditional rounded shape, Innokin decided to take a rather square-ish approach with the VV series. However, the VV4 is much more than a simple eGo device- it comes with one of the best displays we’ve seen so far in a device this small, has both variable voltage and variable wattage and also features a total capacity of 1000 mAh” (ecigguide).

The iTaste VV4 includes a variety of features. First, the voltage of the device is adjustable from 3.0 to 6.0 volts by .1 volt increments and the wattage is adjustable from 6.0 to 15.0 watts in .5 watts increments. Users can know approximately how much battery power remains as there is a colored light that indicates this. If the color is green, the device is almost full while if it is yellow it indicated half power and red indicated low power and the need to charge the device. The device can be turned on or off by pressing the power button three consecutive times.

Again, Innokin has taken precautions to provide their users with the utmost safety. The 10 second cutoff is a mechanism that will automatically stop firing the device if the power button is pressed for more than 10 seconds. For example, this would be helpful in the sense that users may unconsciously be pressing the fire button while the device is in their pockets. The device also has a low voltage warning which will be indicated by the blinking of the red LED and battery bar and eventually turns the device off. Innokin has also included the short circuit/atomizer protection and according to Innokin, this “short circuit/atomizer protection protects the iTaste VV4 advanced personal vaporizer against shorted atomizers and will stop the unit from functioning in unsafe conditions. The iTaste VV4 features automatic real-time atomizer Ohms detection. If the resistance of the atomizer is lower than 0.8 the Ohms bar will blink. If there is a short circuit the VV4 screen will display the following and the LED light will power off” (Innokin).

The iTaste VV4 comes is a relatively small size that resembles a rectangle and the colors are available in black, white, stainless steel, or the pearl chrome. The device is easy to handle and anybody can use this device with no complications. Users have praised this device for its’ small size and the ability of being able to adjust the voltage and wattage. The ecigguide has also stated that “the iTaste VV4 is a great vaping tool for any beginner that’s looking forward to switch from smoking to vaping”.

There have been various cases where beginners are unaware of which product to buy and many end up buying disposable e-cigarettes or buying a device that may be too burdensome for them to start with. It is always important that users take their time and meticulously choose which product to start off with. So far, Innokin’s iTaste VV4, an upgrade of the highly praised iTaste VV3, has shown to be a great starting kit for beginners looking to switch to e cigarette products. Once users get used to vaping and wants to upgrade into bigger and the more powerful mod devices, other Innokin products such as the latest Disrupter and Innokincell is a device worth contemplating.