Can E-Cigarettes Aid Smoking Cessation Efforts?

Dual users had the highest prevalence of respiratory symptoms.
Dual users had the highest prevalence of respiratory symptoms.

HealthDay News — Electronic cigarette (e-cigarette) use is most common among current smokers, according to a study published online July 20 in JAMA Network Open.

Linnea Hedman, PhD, from Umeå University in Sweden, and colleagues used pooled data from the Obstructive Lung Disease in Northern Sweden (6519 participants) study and the West Sweden Asthma Study (23,753 participants) to estimate the prevalence of e-cigarette use and to investigate the association of e-cigarette use with smoking habits, demographic factors, and respiratory symptoms.

The researchers found that 12.3% of the pooled sample were current smokers, 24.4% were former smokers, and 2.0% were e-cigarette users. E-cigarette use was more common among men (2.2%, versus 1.8% in women). E-cigarette use was 9.8% among current smokers, 1.1% among former smokers, and 0.6% among nonsmokers. E-cigarette use was associated with male sex (odds ratio [OR], 1.35); age groups 20 to 29 years (OR, 2.77), 30 to 39 years (OR, 2.27), 40 to 49 years (OR, 1.65), and 50 to 59 years (OR, 1.47); educational level at primary school (OR, 1.99) and upper secondary school (OR, 1.57); former smoking (OR, 2.37); and current smoking (OR, 18.10). All respiratory symptoms were most common among dual users and former smokers and nonsmokers who used e-cigarettes.

"On a population level, this study indicates that the present use of e-cigarettes does not adequately serve as a smoking cessation tool," the authors write.

Abstract/Full Text