Most adults who both smoke and vape are likely to carry on smoking or continue dual use over the long term, according to new research published in Tobacco Control.
Researchers looked at 545 dual users in waves one through five (2013/2014 to 2018/2019) of the U.S. Population Assessment of Tobacco and Health Study.
Over the six years of data, quitting vaping early but continuing to smoke was the most common pattern for almost half of participants (42 percent). Only 10 percent of participants quit both vaping and smoking early, and 15 percent of dual users continued to use both products.
The frequency of vaping and smoking, nicotine dependence, use of cannabis and other tobacco products at wave one were all influential. Dual users who smoked less frequently at wave one were more likely to quit both products early or to gradually quit smoking.
This is an observational study, and product use was based on self-report and not biochemically verified. No information was available for product use between waves.
“Our findings suggest that smoking reduction could help dual users to quit using both products; additionally, for those smokers unable or unwilling to quit using nicotine, cutting down on smoking could help them switch to exclusive [vape] use,” wrote the authors.
Their results also suggest that “before 2019, [vaping] did not contribute to substantial smoking cessation at the population level.”
“Continued monitoring of trajectories and their predictors is warranted considering the rapid evolution of the [vaping] marketplace,” the authors wrote in a press release.