HealthDay News — Electronic cigarettes are not as helpful as other smoking cessation aids in helping smokers successfully quit, according to a study published online February 7 in Tobacco Control.

Ruifeng Chen, from University of California San Diego in La Jolla, and colleagues assessed the effectiveness of e-cigarettes in smoking cessation from 2017 to 2019, given the 2017 increase in high nicotine e-cigarette sales. The analysis included 3578 previous-year smokers with a recent quit attempt and 1323 recent former smokers.

The researchers found that 12.6% of recent quit attempters used e-cigarettes to help with their quit attempt, a decline from previous years. For e-cigarette users, cigarette abstinence (9.9%) was lower than for no product use (18.6%). The adjusted risk differences for e-cigarettes vs pharmaceutical aids was −7.3%, and for e-cigarettes vs any other method, the adjusted risk difference was −7.7%. Among recent former smokers, 2.2% switched to a high nicotine e-cigarette. While not statistically significant, individuals who switched to e-cigarettes had a higher relapse rate than those who did not switch to e-cigarettes or other tobacco.

“There is evidence that cigarette smokers were starting to use high nicotine e-cigarettes by 2019 and further follow-up in PATH [Population Assessment of Tobacco and Health] is needed to see whether these changes result in future cessation benefit,” the authors write.

Abstract/Full Text