The effectiveness of electronic cigarettes as an aid to quitting smoking
T. R. Partos, L. Brose, S.C. Hitchman & A. McNeill
Real-world research in England showed that smokers using e-cigarettes to quit were more likely to report abstinence than those using nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) purchased over-the-counter or no aid. Other research suggested newer generation e-cigarettes are more effective than older ones. We assessed the effectiveness of old and new generation e-cigarettes as an aid to quitting smoking.
Cross-sectional study, aggregating data from three waves of an online survey, carried out Dec 2013, Dec 2014, and May/June 2016.
Panel managed by Ipsos Interactive Services.
Cigarette smokers, recent ex-smokers and vapers from Great Britain, selected using quotas to be representative of age, sex, and geographical region. 1675 participants (providing 2026 observations) had made a recent quit attempt and met selection criteria.
Outcome: self-reported smoking vs quit completely.
Predictor: quit method on last attempt 1) self-help/no aid; 2) e-cigarette disposable/rechargeable cartridge (‘old’); 3) tank e-cigarette (‘new’); 4) NRT; [prescription medications, face-to-face behavioural support, e-cigarettes/NRT combination, don’t know excluded].
Covariates: dependence, quitting history, socio-demographics.
Analysis: multilevel logistic regression controlling for correlation among multiple responses provided by same individuals in different surveys.
Quitting: 31.2% no aid; 19.9% old e-cigarette; 38.0% new e-cigarette; 21.7% NRT. In fully-adjusted model, new e-cigarettes were significantly more effective than unaided quit attempts OR=2.19(95%CI:1.50,3.19) and NRT OR = 1.68(95%CI:1.01,2.80).
Newer electronic cigarettes were more effective at supporting quit attempts than using NRT or no aids/self-help.
Dr Leonie Brose, Lecturer, Addictions Department, Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience Dr Sara Hitchman, Lecturer, Addictions Department, Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience
Conflicts of interest:
No conflict of interest