Dependence comparison: e-cigarettes, nicotine gum and tobacco cigarettes
To assess dependence levels in users of e-cigarettes, and compare them with dependence levels in users of nicotine gums and tobacco cigarettes.
Self-reports from cross-sectional Internet and mail surveys. Comparisons of: a. 766 daily users of nicotine-containing e-cigarettes with 30 daily users of nicotine-free e-cigarettes; b. 911 former smokers who used the e-cigarette daily with 451 former smokers who used the nicotine gum daily; c. 125 daily e-cigarette users who smoked daily with two samples of daily smokers who did not use e-cigarettes.
Comparison of levels of dependence when vaping vs smoking
In the 911 former smokers who used e-cigarettes daily, 74percentage rated their current dependence on e-cigarettes as “weaker” than their prior dependence on tobacco cigarettes, 21percentage as “same” and 3percentage as “stronger”. These 911 exclusive e-cigarette users reported that when they were smoking tobacco cigarettes, they smoked their first cigarette 23 minutes after waking, whereas they currently took their first puff on their e-cigarette 32 minutes after waking. Exclusive e-cigarette users rated their previous dependence on tobacco cigarettes at 90 on a scale of 0-100, whereas they rated their current dependence on e-cigarettes at 64.
Among the 125 daily smokers daily dual users, 62percentage rated their current dependence on e-cigarettes as “weaker” than their current dependence on tobacco cigarettes, 28percentage as “same” and 3percentage as “stronger”. These dual users reported that they currently smoked 11.7 cigarettes per day, compared to 23.3 cigarettes per day before they started to use e-cigarettes.
comparison of e-cigarette users dual users vs other smokers
In daily smokers, vapers dual users rated their dependence on e-cigarettes lower 44.9 on a scale of 0 to 100 than smokers rated their dependence on tobacco cigarettes 68.6 to 84.5 on a scale of 0 to 100.
comparison of users of e-cigarette vs nicotine gum
In the subsample of short-term users of these products, there were few differences in dependence ratings between e-cigarette users and gum users.
Dependence ratings were slightly higher in users of nicotine-containing e-cigarettes than in users of nicotine-free e-cigarettes. In former smokers, long-term users of e-cigarettes were less dependent on e-cigarettes than long-term users of the nicotine gum were dependent on the gum. Dependence on e-cigarettes was generally lower in dual users than dependence on tobacco cigarettes in the two other samples of daily smokers. Some e-cigarette users were dependent on nicotine-containing e-cigarettes, but these products were less addictive than tobacco cigarettes. E-cigarettes may be as or less addictive than nicotine gums, which themselves are not very addictive.