New Study Extinguishes Claims about E-Cigarettes as Quit Aids | CardioSource WorldNews

Journal Wrap | Should e-cigarettes be part of a smoking cessation plan? Although aggressively promoted for that very purpose, a new study snuffs out the possibility.

In a longitudinal analysis of electronic cigarette use and smoking cessation, Rachel A. Grana, PhD, MPH, and colleagues reviewed a national sample of 949 current US smokers who completed a probability-based, web-enabled survey. Grana et al. measured the following variables at both baseline and follow-up:

  • Number of cigarettes used per day
  • Time to first cigarette of the day (<30 minutes vs. ≥30 minutes within waking)
  • Intention to quit (never, not in next 6 months, within next 6 months, within next month)

People who used e-cigarettes tended to be women and younger, and had lower levels of education. Among the 821 patients who reported smoking at both baseline and follow-up, using e-cigarettes was not associated with a change in cigarette consumption (p = 0.25). More e-cigarette users also reported smoking their first cigarette within 30 minutes of waking compared with nonusers: 69.0% versus 57.9% (p = 0.046).

Association with Quit Status
  Odds ratio p Value
E-cigarette use 0.76 0.46
Intention to quit 5.59 < 0.001
Cigarettes smoked per day 0.97 0.02

Interestingly, if patients used e-cigarettes, their intention to quit smoking was greater than nonusers, but their odds of quitting were not significantly greater. Factors that did predict quit status: intention to quit and cigarettes smoked per day (TABLE).

"Although 13.5% of the sample quit smoking, there were low numbers of e-cigarette users in this sample (n = 88), particularly e-cigarette users who quit smoking (n = 9)," the investigators pointed out. "Regulations should prohibit advertising claiming or suggesting that e-cigarettes are effective smoking cessation devices until claims are supported by scientific evidence."

Grana RA, Popova L, Ling PM. JAMA Intern Med. 2014 March 24. [Epub ahead of print]

Clinical Topics: Prevention, Smoking

Keywords: Intention, Follow-Up Studies, Tobacco, Smokeless, Probability, Smoking Cessation, CardioSource WorldNews, ACC Publications

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