Q&A – Is Vaping More Addictive Than Traditional Cigarette Smoking?

Today’s entry - Hello Mr. Mudd, I heard you on the radio this A.M. regarding vaping. One thing I do not think people consider and might be a partial explanation as to why vaping is so “invasive” smoke is “dry”, vapor is moist. Like drenching your lunch tissue and bringing about COPD, water on the lungs, etc. So, kids need to understand they are either “smoking” their lungs or “marinating” them, which I think accelerates the problems. Faster addiction.

Bottom Line: The question you’ve raised about the delivery of nicotine through smoke, as compared to vapor, is being studied right now. What is known is why vapes are proving to be more addictive than traditional cigarettes, which are already extremely addictive. The effects of Nicotine are completely realized within 10 minutes, meaning that it’s typical to desire more as regularly as every ten minutes. That’s why nicotine is rated as the third most addictive drug. 

We had numerous studies on the addictiveness of drugs, some are ongoing, but the “gold standard” remains a 2007 study published in the medical journal, The Lancet, led by Dr. David Nutt. They studied the degree of dependence, tolerance and withdrawal symptoms to determine the order. This was the result:

  • #1: Heroin
  • #2: Cocaine
  • #3: Nicotine
  • #4: Meth
  • #5: Barbiturates

Nicotine is easily the most addictive substance that’s legal and it's the third most addictive drug on the planet. It speaks volumes when it measures as being more addictive than meth. When nicotine produces the desired effect, nearly immediately, and then runs its course in about ten minutes, the body is both physically and mentally desirous of continuing the process. 

An average cigarette contains 12mg of nicotine. Burning the cigarette also burns the nicotine. Based on one’s method of smoking and the cigarette itself, as little as one milligram of nicotine is generally derived from a cigarette. That means cigarettes are only about 8% effective. So, what’s normal in a vape? 5mg. On the surface that might appear better than traditional cigarettes but the devil in the details is the effectiveness. Using data from Juul, their devices are about 50% effective for the distribution of nicotine.So, the average cigarette delivers 1 mg of nicotine and the average vape equivalent delivers 2.5 mg of nicotine.

Even if someone was sticking strictly to using a vape similarly to a cigarette, they’d be getting 2.5 times more nicotine. In this context, it’s easy to see why we’re having the problems now as vaping has started to become mainstream. It’s far more addictive than even traditional cigarette smoking.

Submit your questions by one of these methods. 

Email: brianmudd@iheartmedia.com

Twitter: @brianmuddradio

Facebook: Brian Mudd https://www.facebook.com/brian.mudd1

Photo by: Getty Images

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