Can vaping help me quit smoking?

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Vaping laws changed in Australia on 1st October 2021, making nicotine-containing vape liquid a Schedule 4 prescription-only medicine where individuals will require a prescription from their GP to access vaping. 

With this change and the expanding number of Australians choosing vaping to help them quit smoking, research into the safety and efficacy of vaping as a smoking cessation tool is essential. 

Applied Cannabis Research is dedicated to conducting research relevant to the Australian population. So ACR has joined forces with Prescription Vape and other key partners in the medical industry to initiate Australia’s largest study on vaped nicotine. 

Leading vaping research in Australia

Currently in its planning phase, the study will be led by ACR with Precision Pharmaceuticals and other clinical collaborators partnering to collect data on vaping from 10,000 Australians. The research will be conducted over 5 years using leading vaping brands Australians are already familiar with. 

Vape products provided may be subsided for some participants, with all included vape devices and e-liquids meeting Australia TGO 110 safety standards. 

Data captured by this research will encompass the efficacy and rates of sustained abstinence from smoking, side effects from vaping, the dosage of nicotine, accounts of concurrent medications and any changes to medications and health status over a year.

How effective is vaping as a tool for quitting smoking? 

Estimates suggest approximately 68 million people vape worldwide. In Australia, the portion of those who vape daily is believed to be approximately 1.1% of the total population, with the overwhelming majority of them using vaping as a quitting smoking tool.

Despite its prevalence, vaping is still a novel form of tobacco harm reduction or nicotine replacement therapy. Safety data is still limited and evidence for the long term efficacy or risks of vaping is still emerging.

Nonetheless, the latest update from the Cochrane Library on the safety, effectiveness and tolerability of electronic cigarettes or vapes shows that for every 100 people who try to quit smoking with vaping, 9 to 14 will succeed. This contrasts with traditional nicotine replacement therapies where only 6 out of 100 succeed in quitting.

High-quality assessment of vaping from the Cochrane group and other sources indicate vaping is a helpful tool for smokers to quit tobacco, and further local and longitudinal research such as the VNOS initiative is essential in elucidating safety data and uncover trends in the Australian vaping population.

Learn more about vaping as a smoking cessation aid

As the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) transitions nicotine-containing vapes to a prescription-only medicine in October 2021, the change in Australia’s vaping laws offers a prime time to capture data on vaping from Australian vapers and prescribing physicians. Data from this study will be used to inform prescribers, policymakers and the public on the benefits and safety considerations when using vaping as a tool to quit smoking. 

Doctors, clinicians, researchers and those interested in learning about current and planned research on vaping are invited to contact [email protected].

If you’re a smoker wanting assistance on your journey to quit smoking, contact Prescription Vape for education, guidance and information on legal access to prescribed vaping.

By Jessica Kindynis

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