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Smokers are encouraged to quit tobacco when they are surrounded by vapers

Your mom has probably warned you many times not to hang out with the bad crowd, because they may have a negative influence on your behaviour. For example, they may encourage you to pick up some bad habits. However, a new study from UCL revealed that some crowds can actually encourage you to drop bad habits. Scientists found that exposure to vaper encourage smokers to quit cigarettes.

Vaping is thought to be 95 % safer than smoking and it is motivating smokers to quit tobacco. Image credit: Lindsay Fox via Wikimedia(CC BY 2.0)

Making a decision to quit smoking is not easy. Smoking tobacco is extremely addictive and people pick this habit up extremely easily. In many cases, they do want to quit, however, but find themselves unable to distance themselves from this extremely harmful activity. However, nowadays it is increasingly more common for smokers to come into contact with vapers (people who use e-cigarettes). This got scientists interested in the influence that vapers might have on smokers. They found that 25.8% of smokers in the study spent time with vapers regularly.

Researchers found that those smokers who were in contact with vapers on a regular basis, were around 20% more likely to have an increased motivation to quit and a lot of them already made a recent quit attempt. In fact, 32.3 % of those smokers who were around vapers tried quitting. This result was just 26.8 % between those smokers who were not in contact with vapers. These numbers seem to be quite significant, taking into account that almost 13,000 participants of the Smoking Toolkit Study were included in the study. And a key driving factor here is that smokers became more interested in trying e-cigarettes themselves, seeing their social impact, pleasure and even culture that surrounds them.

Of course, vaping is still a harmful habit, but studies have estimated vaping to be around 95 % safer than smoking tobacco. Therefore, smokers wanting to exchange smoking for vaping is not a bad idea. Interestingly, scientists also found that being exposed to other tobacco smokers actually reduces the motivation to quit smoking, which is not great. Kruti Shrotri, expert on tobacco control, said: “it’s encouraging to see that mixing with people who vape is actually motivating smokers to quit. As the number of people who use e-cigarettes to quit smoking rises, we hope that smokers who come into contact with them are spurred on to give up tobacco for good”.

Vaping is much less harmful and much easier to quit. It is a good way to retain the social function of smoking without damaging your body so much. However, it remains unclear if any public health recommendations could be created from these results.


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