News Release

New study: most dual smokers and vapers likely to continue smoking

At a population level, vaping doesn't seem to help smokers quit more easily

Peer-Reviewed Publication

George Washington University

WASHINGTON (Dec 13, 2022) - A new study by researchers at The George Washington University found that adults who both vape and smoke are likely to continue smoking in the long run. The findings run counter to the industry’s message that vaping can help current smokers quit.


The researchers looked at data from the Population Assessment of Tobacco and Health Study, which is a nationally representative, longitudinal study of tobacco use in the civilian, non-institutionalised US population. This study followed regular users of both cigarettes and e-cigarettes over 5 waves, starting in 2013 with annual follow up of smoking and vaping behavior.


Based on the data, the researchers found that over a 6 year period, quitting vaping early, but continuing to smoke was the most common pattern. The team found that 42% of participants fell into this category. Just 10% of study participants quit both vaping and smoking early, and 15% continued to use both products.


“This study suggests that at the population level, vaping may not help people kick the smoking habit,” said lead researcher Nandita Krishnan. “People who concurrently use e-cigarettes and cigarettes experience increased health risks and both products deliver nicotine, which is addictive. We should be trying to help them quit both smoking and vaping.”


Krishnan was a researcher in the Department of Prevention and Community Health at the George Washington University Milken Institute School of Public Health at the time the study was conducted. She is now a postdoctoral scholar at Stanford.


The study was observational in nature and the findings were based on self-reported data, Krishnan said. Additional research must be done to find out how to help people quit both smoking and vaping over the long haul.


It will also be important to continue monitoring this data as the vaping marketplace continues to rapidly evolve, Krishnan said, adding that the long term health effects of vaping products remain unclear. 


The study, “Trajectories of ENDS and cigarette use among dual users: analysis of waves 1 to 5 of the PATH Study” published in the journal Tobacco Control on Dec 13. 




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