E-Cigarettes Modestly Effective for Helping Smokers Quit

E-Cigarettes Modestly Effective for Helping Smokers Quit
E-Cigarettes Modestly Effective for Helping Smokers Quit

(HealthDay News) – Electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) are modestly effective for helping smokers quit; and, a three-month television antismoking campaign is effective for increasing quit attempts, according to two studies published online Sept. 9 in The Lancet.

Christopher Bullen, MBChB, from the University of Auckland in New Zealand, and colleagues investigated whether e-cigarettes are more effective than nicotine patches for helping smokers to quit. A total of 657 adult smokers were randomized to nicotine e-cigarettes (289 participants), patches (295 participants), and placebo e-cigarettes (73 participants). The researchers found that, at six months, the verified abstinence was 7.3%, 5.8%, and 4.1%, respectively. Due to the lower than anticipated achievement of abstinence, statistical power was insufficient to conclude the superiority of nicotine e-cigarettes.

Tim McAfee, MD, from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, and colleagues examined the effects of the three-month antismoking campaign, Tips From Former Smokers (Tips), that was introduced in the United States in March 2012. Assessments were completed at baseline and follow-up by 3,051 smokers and 2,220 nonsmokers. The researchers found that, during the three-month campaign, 78% of smokers and 74% of nonsmokers recalled seeing at least one Tips advertisement on television. Among smokers there was a 12%  relative increase in quit attempts, from 31.1% at baseline to 34.8% at follow-up. For smokers who made a quit attempt, the prevalence of abstinence at follow-up was 13.4%. An estimated 1.64 million additional smokers made a quit attempt nationally, and at follow-up, 220,000 remained abstinent.

"The high-exposure Tips media campaign was effective at increasing population-level quit attempts," McAfee and colleagues write.

Several authors from the Bullen study disclosed financial ties relating to the smoking cessation industry, including manufacturers of e-cigarettes.

Abstract - Bullen
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Abstract - McAfee
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