Vaping is likely to be less addictive than smoking, researchers have concluded, after they found smokers had a higher spending limit than vapers.
The study, published yesterday by London Southbank University, compared 25 smokers and 20 vapers, and how much they were willing to spend on cigarettes and e-cigarettes respectively.
Participants were asked to say how many puffs of their chosen product (either cigarettes or e-cigarettes) they would purchase at increasing price points. They also had to choose between earning money or access to their chosen product.
Vapers were more likely than smokers to turn down puffs as price increased and less likely to opt for their chosen product when presented with money instead.
This suggests vaping is likely to be less addictive than smoking, as drug addiction is characterised by doing whatever it takes to access a substance, the study authors concluded.
However, vapers and smokers gave similar responses when asked about addiction to their product, level of craving, how much they want it and difficulties when not using nicotine.
Dr Nicky Rycroft, who led the study, said: ‘Our research has found for the first time that because vapers are more sensitive to rising costs than smokers, vaping is likely to be less addictive than smoking.
‘Vapers are more likely to set a lower limit to spend on e-cigarettes, than smokers who have a higher spending limit for cigarettes.’
She added: ‘As vaping is less harmful and less likely to be addictive than smoking, this research may reassure concerns about continued nicotine addiction when switching from smoking to vaping.’
The popularity of electronic cigarettes in UK has increased by around 400% since 2012, from 700,000 users in 2012 to 3.6 million in 2019.
Over 90% of e-cigarette users are current or ex-smokers and e-cigarettes are the most popular method for quitting smoking in the UK.