Dimitra Kale is a research co-ordinator at UCL Tobacco and Alcohol Research group. She recently completed her PhD investigating individual differences, in particular trait impulsivity, in cigarette smoking and vaping, and the role of vaping in smoking cessation at Goldsmith, University of London. She is now involved in a number of studies focusing on the development and evaluation of digital interventions for smoking cessation, and the analysis of survey data to gain insight into population-wide influences on smoking and vaping. In the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, she contributes to a survey study to gain a better understanding of the impact of COVID-19 on health behaviours among UK adults.
A longitudinal study of electronic cigarette use among adult smokers: association with smoking cessation, motivation to quit and trait impulsivity
Aims: Evidence remains inconclusive regarding the effectiveness of e-cigarette use in smoking cessation. The present study uses a longitudinal design to assess the associations between e-cigarette use and smoking cessation, motivation to quit and trait impulsivity among adult smokers.
Methods: 153 participants (79 smokers and 74 dual users (smoke cigarettes and use e-cigarette), mean age=23.73, SD=5.0, 45.1% male) were recruited and 91 were followed-up at 3-months.
Results: It was found that dual users were more likely to report an intention to quit smoking in the next 6 months than cigarette smokers (t(151)=-2.48, p=0.01), while dual users who intended to quit smoking within 6 months were more likely to report smoking cessation as a reason for e-cigarette use. The use of e-cigarettes in non-treatment seeking smokers was associated with a higher rate of quitting smoking three months later, relative to smokers who did not use e-cigarettes (χ2(1)=5.81, p=0.016). The present study failed to find links between any impulsivity-related trait and smoking cessation. We also did not find any significant association between different levels of e-cigarette use, and smoking-related characteristics such as nicotine dependence, motivation to quit, past quit attempts and smoking cessation.
Conclusions: The data adds to current evidence that e-cigarettes may increase rates of smoking cessation among cigarette smokers, most likely because they provide nicotine replacement, as well as behavioural and sensory replacement for cigarettes. Electronic cigarettes may therefore serve as a source of nicotine replacement for smokers and could help more smokers to attempt quit smoking and remain smoke-free.