There is much debate on whether e-cigarettes help to quit smoking. A recent analysis of results from available studies on e-cigarettes and smoking cessation has indicated that e-cigarette users are less likely to quit smoking compared to non-users.
Electronic (e-cigarettes) are advertised as smoking cessation aids and for use in smoke-free places. E-cigarettes are devices that vaporize a mixture of nicotine and other substances to be inhaled by a user and its use is increasing among adults and teenagers. Whether e-cigarettes are effective for smoking cessation or smoking reduction is still under debate. We have previously reported on some of these earlier studies:
A recent paper published in Lancet Respiratory Medicine has reviewed and analyzed the results of previous studies that determined a link between e-cigarette use and quitting cigarettes.
The studies included in the review compared adult smokers who have used e-cigarettes to a group of non-users, either under controlled clinical trials or in real world settings. Analysis of the pooled results from various studies indicated that the odds of quitting smoking after using e-cigarettes were 28% lower than non-users. This means that smokers who have used e-cigarettes were less likely to quit smoking compared to those who did not use e-cigarettes. Similar results were obtained regardless of the reason for using e-cigarettes, whether the smokers intend to quit or not.
According to the authors, the wide availability of e-cigarettes and use in smoke-free areas are possible reasons why e-cigarettes are linked to lower smoking cessation. Well-designed and comprehensive studies on e-cigarettes are needed and should include a comparison with other smoking cessation aids (nicotine patch or gums), motivation for e-cigarette use, and smoking habits.
Kalkhoran S and Glantz SA. E-cigarettes and smoking cessation in real-world and clinical settings: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Lancet Respir Med. Published on 14 January 2016. DOI: 10.1016/S2213-2600(15)00521-4
Written by Ana Victoria Pilar, PhD