Is Eliquid Less Addictive Than Tobacco?

Vaping e-cigarette eliquid

“We found that e-cigarettes appear to be less addictive than tobacco cigarettes in a large sample of long-term users,” said Jonathan Foulds.
Image: ©iStock Photo mauro_grigollo

Penn State Study Says Yes, Eliquid is Less Addictive than Tobacco

Once vaping and ecigarettes started growing in popularity, it was only a matter of time before they started being compared to their traditional counterpart. People are curious about the similarities and differences between smoking cigarettes and vaping ecigarettes.


Among the most common questions posed by potential ecig vapers…

“Is eliquid less addictive than tobacco?”

Even though they are so often compared, cigarettes and ecigs are very different. For example, eliquid doesn’t produce smoke, it produces vapor, which not only makes vaping a completely different experience, but it also affects health in a very different way than tobacco and nictine.

E-cigarettes are less addictive than traditional cigarettes

According to a 2014 ecig study from the Penn State College of Medicine, that is. “We found that e-cigarettes appear to be less addictive than tobacco cigarettes in a large sample of long-term users,” said Jonathan Foulds, Professor of Public Health Sciences and Psychiatry, Penn State College of Medicine.

The study focused on more than 3,500 ex-smokers who currently vape ecigs. Published in the journal Nicotine & Tobacco Research, the results showed that:

  • Ecig users wait longer in the day for their first vape when compared to smokers
  • Approximately 25% of ecigarette users felt anxious when they don’t have ecigs, compared to a whopping 90% of smokers who say they feel anxious without cigarettes
  • Smokers are more likely than ecig users to wake up in the middle of the night to smoke
  • Ecigarettes are no more addictive than nicotine patches, in the short term
  • After 3 months, ecig users are less dependent on eliquid than those using a nicotine patch or gum

“We don’t have long-term health data of e-cig use yet, but any common sense analysis says that e-cigs are much less toxic,” says Foulds. “And our paper shows that they appear to be much less addictive, as well. So in both measures, they seem to have advantages when you’re concerned about health.”

This is good news for ecig users! We’ll continue to shed light on vaping eliquid, but we want to hear from you, too! Share your thoughts with us in the comments.

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