Swiss research claiming that e-cigarettes encourage smoking and also inhibit smokers from ceasing the habit is flawed and unsubstantiated, top public health expert asserts.
In an earlier study, researchers claimed that smoking e-cigarettes was contributing to people not wanting to stop the habit and also people taking up the habit due to it. This meant that the common perception that vaping helps people stop smoking and does not in any way encourage people to start the habit was a fallacy.
However, the earlier findings have come under scrutiny and criticism from a group of researchers who claim the study was flawed and that there was no concrete evidence to actually prove that vaping encourages smoking.
According to the research team there is no substantial evidence that links increased uptake of smoking to vaping, or users being unable to stop the habit. This supports the earlier opinion that indicates vaping to be effective as an aid to stopping to smoke.
In his negative report which is found in the Swiss Medical Weekly, Dr. Michael Siegel, professor in the Department of Community Health Sciences, Boston University School of Public Health says the report is flawed and bears no evidence.
Siegel wrote that the study didn’t follow a longitudinal approach that compares two sides of the sample, in this case- vapers and non-vapers. It also didn’t experiment on the changes that were affecting the participants and the period was not long enough hence lacks a credible baseline vaping position for each individual.
The study mainly focuses on if the participants had at some point used a vape pen or e-cigarette. The researcher reasons that the vaper could have just vaped for the first time one day before the study. This isn’t sufficient time to actually confirm that the smoking or failure to stop smoking was as a result of the vape pen.
Siegel says the study places more emphasis on the changes that took place over the previous year and not the behavior and effects on the smoking during the period being studied. The study doesn’t give the researchers the chance to know which came first – whether the behavior change occurred before taking up vaping or vaping came before after the behavioral change.
Dr Siegel also notes that the study imply asks if a user has ever vaped and doesn’t focus on the length of time and frequency of c vaping. A person who may had smoked just once is classified same as another who has been smoking e-cigarettes for a long time.
This study comes a t a time when another finding suggested that e-cigarettes don’t help people stop but rather encourage to smoke more.