Vapers seek relief from nicotine addiction in — wait for it — cigarettes


Category:  Health, Science & Technology

Via:  tig  •  11 months ago  •  20 comments

Vapers seek relief from nicotine addiction in — wait for it — cigarettes
“Juul made my nicotine addiction a lot worse,” one user said.

S E E D E D   C O N T E N T

By   Ana B. Ibarra, California Healthline

Lucas McClain started smoking cigarettes in high school but switched to vaping after he heard e-cigarettes were a safer alternative.

His vape of choice became the Juul, the king of electronic cigarettes — which comes with a king-size nicotine hit.

Now 21, McClain wants to quit so badly that he’s turning back to the problem he fled in the first place: good old-fashioned cigarettes.

“Juul made my nicotine addiction a lot worse,” the Arlington, Va., resident said. “When I didn’t have it for more than two hours, I’d get very anxious.”

Even though McClain knows the dangers of cigarettes — lung cancer runs in his family — he thinks it might be easier to kick cigarettes than his Juul. Plus, his mom keeps warning him about the mysterious vaping-related illnesses that have sickened hundreds across the country.

So last month, McClain bought his first pack of cigarettes in years. Then he tweeted about it.

“Bought a juul to quit smoking cigarettes,” he wrote, “now I’m smoking cigarettes to quit the juul.” He ended with this hashtag: #circleoflife.

One Juul pod, which provides about 200 puffs, contains as much nicotine as a pack of cigarettes. On stressful days, McClain could finish a pod in three hours — and as he and others figure out   just how potent   these and other e-cigarettes are, many want out.

Some are turning back to combustible cigarettes — or taking them up for the first time — in a dangerous bid to lower their nicotine intake and ultimately get off their vapes.

“Isn’t it ironic that to quit juul I bought cigarettes,”   says one Twitter user . Another points out that it’s “strange” that she used the device to quit smoking cigarettes but is now “far more   addicted to my Juul   than I ever was to cigs.”

“It sucks,” she said.


Lucas McClain holds a pack of cigarettes and his Juul at his home in Arlington, Va. McClain is back to smoking cigarettes in the hope of quitting the Juul. Lynne Shallcross/KHN

It isn’t a complete surprise that some young people are “going back to the product they were trying to quit in the first place,” said Pamela Ling, a professor of medicine at the University of California-San Francisco who studies tobacco and its marketing.

But it is worrisome because cigarettes contain toxins and chemicals that are dangerous to their health, she said.

Vaping may not be safe either.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is investigating at least   380 cases of lung disease in 36 states   — mostly among young people — possibly linked to vaping nicotine and marijuana.   Six people   have died. California is investigating at least   60 cases .

The back-to-smoke trend flies in the face of the e-cig industry’s most insistent PR pitch: Vaping helps people quit smoking cigarettes. In fact, San Francisco-based Juul Labs, which commands   75 percent of the e-cig market , says in its   mission statement   that the company aims to eliminate cigarettes by giving adult smokers “the tools to reduce or eliminate their consumption entirely.”

In an emailed statement, Juul didn’t directly address the decision by some of its users to revert to cigarettes, but again clung to the refrain that its products are “designed to help adult smokers switch from combustible cigarettes to an alternative nicotine delivery system.”

Ted Kwong, a Juul spokesman, said Juul is not designed to get people off nicotine or to treat nicotine dependence.

For those who criticize Juul’s high nicotine content, Kwong noted that pods come in two strengths — 5 percent and 3 percent nicotine concentrations — letting users customize their “switching journey.”

Monday, the Food and Drug Administration   reprimanded   Juul for promoting its products as being safer than cigarettes without FDA permission. It gave Juul 15 business days to respond.

Vaping has become big business, with the global market projected to hit   $48 billion   by 2023.

Smoke or vapor, cigarette makers win either way. Altria, which sells Marlboro and other tobacco brands in the U.S., invested   nearly $13 billion   in Juul for a 35 percent stake last year. Altria has proposed reuniting with Philip Morris International, a unit it sold off in 2008.


One Juul pod provides about 200 puffs and can contain as much nicotine as a pack of cigarettes. As young adults realize how potent the Juul and other e-cigarettes can be, some are turning back to combustible cigarettes. Ana B. Ibarra/KHN

Even though the industry says vaping is intended for adults, Juul and other vaping pens took off among young people about two years ago when teens began taking the devices to school and teachers mistook them   for flash drives . Students took hits in campus bathrooms and halls, and even in class when teachers weren’t looking.

The e-liquids inhaled from the devices contain nicotine and come in   thousands of fruity flavors   that appeal to kids.

Michigan last week became the first state to ban sales of flavored e-cigarettes in an attempt to end teen vaping. In June, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors banned the sale of all e-cigarettes,   beginning in early 2020 . Juul is fighting back with a November ballot measure, Proposition C, backed by millions of its own dollars.

Many former smokers attest that vaping was the only thing that   helped them quit cigarettes , but the   science is mixed . Some studies have shown that many vapers continue to smoke cigarettes.

The FDA has approved seven treatments for smoking cessation, including patches, gums and lozenges. Vapes are not among them, said Dr. Elisa Tong, an associate professor of medicine at the University of California-Davis.

Tong said vapers may be using more nicotine than they realize. She understands why some choose to go back to cigarettes, but she doesn’t recommend it.

“What they’re doing is trying to taper down super high levels of nicotine,” she said. “Unfortunately, manufacturers don’t have a manual on how to quit their devices.”

Dr. Amanda Graham, senior vice president of innovations at the Truth Initiative, an anti-tobacco advocacy group, said she is seeing “desperation and misguided approaches” from teens and young adults trying to free themselves from nicotine.

“Young people are fumbling in the dark with what seems logical,” Graham said. “But there is no safe level of cigarette smoking.”

Early this year, Graham’s group launched a digital program to help teens and young adults quit their vaping devices. Since then, 41,000 people between 13 and 24 have enrolled in “ This is Quitting ,” which sends them tips and support via text messages.

Chris Gatus of Whittier, Calif., switched from traditional cigarettes to Juul because he thought the device would help him quit smoking, he said.

But because his Juul is always glued to his palm, he found himself using it everywhere and all the time.

“I’ve sort of forgotten what it’s like not to be on nicotine,” said Gatus, 21.

He switched back to cigarettes this year after noticing his growing addiction, but that only resulted in his using both. Now he’s trying different vaping pens, looking for something less harsh than the Juul or cigarettes, he said.

Last week, Ryan Hasson of New York City threw out his Juul after experiencing strong chest pains and labored breathing when exercising — and after hearing about the growing number of vape-related illnesses. He had never felt such strong symptoms when he smoked old-fashioned cigarettes, he said.

“I don’t plan on ever smoking again, but if I had to choose, I would much rather buy cigarettes over a Juul,” said Hasson, 25.

The same is true of his friends, he said.

“I think a lot of people are quitting completely or going back to cigarettes,” he said. “They’re waking up to the reality that maybe this isn’t as safe as we once thought.”


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1  seeder  TᵢG    11 months ago

The saga continues.   

Vaping has been shown to be far riskier than originally thought.   Worse, many of the brands deliver much higher levels of nicotine into the system than cigarettes.   So vaping is leading to higher levels of addiction.   Now with the vaping scare, some are moving to (back to) cigarettes due to their nicotine addiction.

Vaping devices do not need nicotine to function.   The nicotine is almost certainly part of the product as a means to addict the user and keep them buying the product.   Should we not have societal devices to restrict manufacturers from putting addictive chemicals in consumer products?    

1.1  sandy-2021492  replied to  TᵢG @1    11 months ago
Should we not have societal devices to restrict manufacturers from putting addictive chemicals in consumer products?    

Or at the very least, to disclose the amount of nicotine in each pod accurately, so people know that they're actually getting a bigger hit of the addictive substance they may be trying to wean themselves from.

1.1.1  Enoch  replied to  sandy-2021492 @1.1    11 months ago

Dear Friend Sandy: We are so very far behind Europe in matters of government regulations for the health and well being of its citizens.

This is but one example.

Try reading the ingredients in foods, beverages, lawn, home and personal grooming care products, toys, etc.

One need not be a hypochondriac to feel sick about it.


Enoch, Going Natural As I Prepare to Transit Back to Nature (Minus 6 Feet).

1.2  Ed-NavDoc  replied to  TᵢG @1    11 months ago

I quit smoking in 2005 by using the patch. Took me two weeks to go from a pack and a half a day to zero and have not had one since. Vaping was only just coming into favor and was more of a fad. I thought about using e-cigs when quitting, but I considered it as exchanging one crutch for another. Seems that has been borne out these days.

1.2.1  Enoch  replied to  Ed-NavDoc @1.2    11 months ago

Dear Brother Ed: Indeed.

Wise choice.

Well done on all counts.



1.2.2  Ed-NavDoc  replied to  Enoch @1.2.1    11 months ago

I got told by a doctor in 2004 that I had a enlarged heart and clouding at the base of both lungs. He said if I did not quit. I would most likely be dead by 70! That set me to some serious thinking. The two things I wanted most in the world was to grow old with my wife and see my grandchildren grow up. The Lord granted me one out of two. I have seen 3 out of 4 grow up and tha fourth one is almost 9. Last annual physical showed my heart was normal sized and strong and my lungs looked like a 30 year old that had never smoked. The rest of me is falling apart, but not my heart or lungs..

1.2.3  Enoch  replied to  Ed-NavDoc @1.2.2    11 months ago

Dear Brother Ed-Navy-Doc: I wish you the best of health and happiness for many years to come.

Being able to dance at the wedding of your youngest grandchild will be the ultimate in happiness for all of you.



2  Kavika     11 months ago

 They should be required to put the amount of nicotine in each container on the labels at the least. 

It's insane that those kids are quitting vaping to go back to cigarettes.

That should raise red flags.

2.1  Enoch  replied to  Kavika @2    11 months ago

Dear Brother Kavika: It sure did for me.

Full disclosure is the starting, not the end point of this saga.



It Is ME
3  It Is ME    11 months ago

Time for more warning labels, since folks are still too stupid to think and conclude on their own ! Even a MAROON should know by now, Lungs were made for "AIR"....and NOTHING ELSE !jrSmiley_84_smiley_image.gif

It drives me nutz when "Other" things are blamed for a persons own weakness.

"I blame Vapes for driving me back to cigarettes" ! jrSmiley_78_smiley_image.gif

I've seen young kids vaping, and Parents condoning it, saying ….. "At least he/she didn't take up cigarettes" ! ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME ? jrSmiley_88_smiley_image.gif

Maybe it's just me, but if I take or use something, and it makes me feel Weird, or just not right.....I ask questions immediately.

I don't keep using or taking it, then bitch and moan later to talk myself into trying to sue the "maker" for my own idiocy (Self Responsibility) !

What I do in my life, I "CHOOSE" to do. It's NO ONE ELSES FAULT for my actions, no matter how many neat and cool things the "Maker" puts out.

4  cms5    11 months ago

I have been vaping for the past three years. I smoked for decades prior - almost three packs a day.

When I started, I used the pre-loaded e-cigs. My son immediately went out and bought me a vape pen and said that I need to make sure that the liquid I use is made in the USA and that they list the nicotine levels and all other ingredients. He warned that items like pre-loaded e-cigs aren't controlled. So, he put me in control. I'm not vaping to look like a steam engine - or as a fad. Each year I have reduced the amount of nicotine...hoping next year will be the end. While vaping isn't great, it is better than smoking for me.

They do offer vaping items without any nicotine at all. Where I buy my supplies, you must be 18 or older. I smoked menthol and vape menthol.

al Jizzerror
4.1  al Jizzerror  replied to  cms5 @4    11 months ago
Each year I have reduced the amount of nicotine...hoping next year will be the end.

Good luck.

I hope it works for you.

al Jizzerror
5  al Jizzerror    11 months ago

I smoked about 3 packs of Marlboros a day for years.  I quit 17 years ago.

I should have cancer.  

Butt, I also smoked a shitload of weed every day.  I think that the weed may have protected me from cancer.

I now think that smoking weed is unhealthy.  Putting smoke of any kind in your lungs is harmful.

So I switched to edibles and I vape weed.

I do NOT use vape pens (unless they're load with pure THC oil).

I vape weed using a device that I load with unadulterated weed.


And, yeah, I'm vaping weed right now.

5.1  MUVA  replied to  al Jizzerror @5    11 months ago

A close friend of mine quit smoking 20 years ago he has lung cancer but they have caught it early. I hope you stay healthy.

5.2  MUVA  replied to  al Jizzerror @5    11 months ago

I use a vape pen mostly I have about a 3 year stash of freeze dried regular I get into from time to mine it is actually home grown something my friend has been doing for over 20 years it maybe the best around.

5.3  cms5  replied to  al Jizzerror @5    11 months ago

Great on the quitting...not so sure on the weed. ;)

Sparty On
5.4  Sparty On  replied to  al Jizzerror @5    11 months ago
 I think that the weed may have protected me from cancer.

Doubtful but whatever floats your boat.   More likely it was luck of the draw thanks to the genetics you were blessed with.

A buddies dad i used to hunt with smoked 2-3 packs a day of unfiltered Camels.   For roughly 80 years and lived to the ripe old age of 97.   No cancer, no nothing related to the smokes and he never smoked dope once in his life.

Luck of the draw i say .....

Paula Bartholomew
6  Paula Bartholomew    11 months ago

Our governor is about to sign a law that outlaws flavored (except menthol) vapes as they are what the kids gravitate to.

Jeremy Retired in NC
7  Jeremy Retired in NC    11 months ago
“Juul made my nicotine addiction a lot worse,” the Arlington, Va., resident said. “When I didn’t have it for more than two hours, I’d get very anxious.”

Mr. McClain is a blithering idiot.  You can't deal with reality without your pungent "lifeline" and expect then everybody else to feel sorry for you?  Sorry.  Not going to happen.  I smoked for over 20 years.  I quit.  I did it without crying and whining to everybody about how "addicted I am".  Your an adult.  Grow the fuck up.

How can people this stupid really survive on their own?

Sparty On
7.1  Sparty On  replied to  Jeremy Retired in NC @7    11 months ago
How can people this stupid really survive on their own?

They can't.   They have the State and Fed to "nanny" them along .....


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