Daily users compared to less frequent users find vape as or more satisfying and less dangerous than cigarettes, and are likelier to use non-cig-alike vaping products

Daily users compared to less frequent users find vape as or more satisfying and less dangerous than cigarettes, and are likelier to use non-cig-alike vaping products

Authors: Lynn T. Kozlowski, D. Lynn Homish, Gregory G. Homish

DOI: 10.1016/j.pmedr.2017.02.026


University of Buffalo News Center also published an article on this study which included these points of significance:

  • those study participants who vape daily reported e-cigarettes as “at least as satisfying” as cigarettes, and that 58 percent said vaping was “much more” satisfying.
  • “The results argue that satisfaction, perceived harm or danger and product type seem to all work together to promote use or avoidance,” said Lynn Kozlowski
  • “The mistaken belief that e-cigarettes are more harmful than cigarettes can influence some smokers to not use e-cigs. If the type of product they use is less satisfying, this also can influence likelihood of use,” Kozlowski, PhD, added.
  • policies that have been implemented based on the belief that e-cigarettes are fundamentally lacking in satisfaction compared to cigarettes
  • The concern that vaping acts as a “gateway” to cigarettes is more credible if vaping is less satisfying than smoking. For vaping products that are much more satisfying than cigarettes and also perceived as less dangerous than cigarettes, it is less likely that users would want to switch to cigarettes in the future,
  • our findings indicate that that the non-cigalike vaping products can be very satisfying,
  • “There is growing evidence that the cigalike products are less effective at delivering nicotine than the newer types of vaping products,” Kozlowski said.
  • “Those who try to exaggerate fears of vaping products should consider their role in keeping smokers smoking,” he said. “Telling people only that no product is ‘safe’ is an irresponsible message.”


  • Daily users of e-cigarettes found them at least as satisfying as cigarettes.
  • Satisfaction from e-cigarettes was more likely in more frequent users.
  • All daily users reported them as less dangerous than cigarettes.
  • Perceived danger from e-cigarettes was higher in less frequent users.
  • Daily users of e-cigarettes were more likely to be using non-cig-alikes


We assessed the roles of perceived satisfaction and perceived danger and vaping-product-type as correlates of more frequent use of vaping products. In a baseline assessment of a longitudinal study of US Army Reserve/National Guard Soldiers and their partners (New York State, USA, 2014–2016), participants were asked about current use of vaping products (e-cigarettes) and perceived satisfaction and danger in comparison to cigarettes as well as type of product used. Fisher-exact tests and multiple ordinal logistic regressions were used. In multivariable and univariate models, more perceived satisfaction, less perceived danger, and use of non-cig-alike products were associated with more frequent use of vaping products (ps < 0.05, two-tailed). For self-selected, more frequent adult users, e-cigs can be at least as satisfying as cigarettes and often more satisfying and are perceived as less dangerous than cigarettes. Non-cig-alike products were more likely in daily users. Some concern that e-cigs are a gateway to cigarettes arises from assuming that e-cigs may not be as reinforcing and pleasurable as cigarettes. These results indicate that accurate perception of comparative risk and use of more effective-nicotine delivery product can produce for some users a highly-satisfying alternative to cigarettes.


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