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Vaping might not help you quit

South Australian researchers have found e-cigarettes aren’t helping people to quit smoking.

Their study is small, just 87 people were surveyed. Researchers pulled data from Quitline callers over eight months.

They said they thought vaping would help them deal with cravings, and replace the hand-to-mouth action of smoking. But it’s not working – most of those who vaped, vaped every day, and also had a nicotine addiction.

The organisation’s Lauren Maksimovic said some people thought e-cigarettes were too similar to smoking.

“They were using that hand to mouth action, but it actually enhanced their smoking and it was just the same thing, they were continuing to smoke”

She says people were also worried about the unknown impacts of vaping on their health.

“We maintain serious concerns about the safety of e-cigarettes, particularly given that it delivers chemicals directly to the lungs.”

There’s mixed opinions on vaping – a peak health body in England has said e-cigarettes are about 95 percent less harmful than tobacco cigarettes. But the Australian Cancer council has long campaigned against them, saying there’s no evidence e-cigarettes are safe or that they help with quitting attempts.

Under Victorian poisons laws, e-cigarettes are banned if they have nicotine in them. Many e-cigarettes don’t have nicotine – and the Cancer Council found some people were using them in conjunction with other pharmacotherapies to help them quit.

In NSW e-cigarettes can’t be sold to people under 18. Lauren Maksimovic says they’re currently being aggressively marketed to young people through advertising, and their fruit flavours.

“We really want to raise the awareness that there’s not evidence out there at the moment that e-cigarettes are useful in quitting.”

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