The documented success rates regarding the use of e-cigarettes has resulted in increased sales. However, this has ultimately led to a decline in sales for nicotine patches and gums.
Makers of smoking cessation products, including nicotine replacement patches and gums, are feeling the heat from e-cigarette makers. While patches and other medically available products have long been heralded as the gold standard for smoking cessation, that could all change as more and more consumers turn to vaporizers and e-cigarettes to help them quit.
Nicotine Replacement Products Have Flaws
On the surface, nicotine replacement patches or gums and e-cigarettes use similar methods to help smokers quit. Both contain nicotine at varying levels to replace that which is found in tobacco products. This helps smokers avoid withdrawal symptoms after giving up cigarettes. These symptoms are one of the main reasons so many smokers “fall off the wagon.”
There is one glaring difference between other nicotine containing cessation methods and e-cigarettes. The former comes as a patch or gum, neither of which are anything like smoking a cigarette. For some, replacing the nicotine alone may be enough to help them quit. For many others, the pull to smoke is too strong to resist when their only method is nicotine replacement.
By contrast, e-cigarettes don’t have this issue. They offer smokers a more authentic form of nicotine acquisition, making quitting easier.
E-cigarettes are Different
How are e-cigs different? Their main claim to fame is that they actually simulate the taste, feel, and experience of smoking a real cigarette. This is an important distinction for many smokers.
Smoking isn’t only about the nicotine. Most people actually enjoy the act of picking up a cigarette, lighting up, and taking a drag. Many people smoke over dinner, or with dessert. They may smoke upon waking, or while having their morning coffee. For them, smoking isn’t about getting a “fix.” It’s an experience attached to relaxing or pleasant daily rituals. It’s much harder to give something up if it’s something truly enjoyable.
Where e-cigarettes succeed against other cessation methods is that they allow users to continue having their favorite smoking related experiences and rituals, but without the negative health consequences.
According to WebMD, and recent articles by news media like the New York Daily News, studies have confirmed that e-cigarettes may be more effective at helping smokers quit, or severely cut down on, tobacco use than comparable patches. This is good news for current smokers, as e-cigarettes offer many advantages over other cessation aids. It’s bad news for pharmaceutical companies like Glaxo Kline Smith, however. According to The Pharm Letter, sales of nicotine patches are in steep decline in recent years, as sales of e-cigarettes continue to soar.
The perks of e-cigs are numerous:
They are more affordable. Patches, gums, inhalers, and prescription cessation medications are not cheap. Their high price tag may be limiting for some smokers, even when compared to the rising cost of tobacco. E-cigarettes are available at several price points, with the lowest prices being very affordable.
They do not require a prescription. E-cigarettes are widely available, and they don’t require a visit to the doctor to purchase. They can be ordered in many specialty stores, and online.
They are enjoyable to use. Has anyone ever really enjoyed the feel of having a patch adhered to his skin? E-cigarette users actually enjoy vaping, and they can enjoy the experience even more knowing that they aren’t inhaling smoke and other chemicals found in tobacco products.
While more research is needed, e-cigarettes offer a promising cessation method for those who like to smoke, but who don’t like the idea of tobacco related illnesses.