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Nov 12, 2020

Vaping has revealed effective where official therapies failed. What is the secret of its success? A study by researchers Di Piazza, Caponnetto, Askin, Christos, Maglia, Gautam, Roche and Polosa tries to explain the reasons behind its success. The results are on the prestigious international Harm Reduction Journal.

Catania, November 12, 2020- A research conducted by the City University of New York, Cornell University, and COEHAR sought to identify the extent and quality of respiratory sensations among those who failed to quit smoking with traditional drugs but succeed with electronic cigarettes. The study focused on the perceptions of ex-smokers on the influence that using Ecig had on their smoking cessation experience.  

Among the participants, 84% reported that the sensation of vapor is relevant in quitting smoking, while 91% believe that the perceptions accompanying the use of e-cigarettes contributed to quit.

“The sensory experiences given by electronic cigarettes can help those who are unable to quit smoking with classic anti-smoking drugs” explain Prof. Riccardo Polosa, Founder of the Center of Excellence for the Acceleration of Harm Reduction (CoEHAR). “Smokers may prefer substitute products with characteristics similar to the act of smoking rather than being medicalised” he added.

It is clear – explains prof. Pasquale Caponnetto from the University of Catania – that the sample represents people satisfied with this change. However, within a process of seeking treatments aimed at detaching people from harmful substances that create addiction, we cannot neglect the impact that sensory experience can have. They are- in fact- capable of modifying rooted cognitive, behavioural, and even emotional relational schemes”.


The study involved a non-random intentional sample of 156 participants recruited in the United States through the Consumer Advocates for Smoke-Free Alternatives Association Facebook. Participants completed an online survey to evaluate the sensory experiences associated with the use of electronic cigarettes.


A percentage of over 91% of vapers who quit report a feeling of pleasure when switching from smoking to vaping, significantly contributed to driving them away from the traditional cigarette.

Using electronic cigarettes, the volunteers stated that they felt the steam in the throat. There was also a feeling of pleasure in using the electronic cigarette, including the desire to taste, smell, observe the steam and touch the device, confirming the importance of maintaining some ritualistic aspects.

The study also identified how women had a more significant reduction in craving for cigarettes compared to men. Furthermore, those who began smoking at age 13 or younger had greater sensory satisfaction and pleasure than those who started at 16-17.