A 2015 article in the Journal of Public Health, addressed the efficacy and effects of electronic cigarettes (aka “E-cigs”), and essentially concludes that while E-cigs may lead to cessation or abatement of smoking behaviors, there is insufficient evidence with respect to long term chronic use of E-cigs and any attendant risks therefrom. This is relevant to the issues of physical activity and exercise science in the context of smokers, be it cigarettes or now, E-cigs.
Perhaps of greatest import is the study’s finding that E-cigs really do result in the reduction of use or desire to use cigarettes and upon the symptoms associated with nicotine withdrawal. This clearly would seem to have a positive effect on getting smokers at least interested in increased or sustained physical activity, particularly where there may be a significant reduction in their focus upon smoking related cravings. The cessation of nicotine withdrawals noted in the findings also supports the notion that people who are physically feeling better, may well have a more increased and sustainable interest in bettering their health.
While the risks and long term of effects of E-cig use were not the subject of the instant article, one might infer that absent other unstated motivations, that smokers (or former smokers) are making the switch in an effort to be healthier, or at minimum, to feel better physically. To the extent that these motivations can be channeled holistically into the overall pursuit of greater health, the more likely that the newly-ceased smoker will explore additional health promoting options, including exercise. Where the adverse effects of smoking can be abated somewhat through the use of E-cigs, there may well be potential for the individual to develop and embrace a “new,” more beneficial habit, such as exercise.