The participants using nicotine-containing e-cigarettes, were 2.4 times more likely to quit smoking than those who did not.
The research consisted of a randomised controlled trial involving 376 participants and the findings indicated that at 12 weeks, those who used e-cigarettes were twice more likely to have quit, than those who did not. On the other hand, reported the research team, at 24 weeks there was less of a difference between the two groups.
Around a third of the study participants (128), were given nicotine-containing e-cigarettes alongside regular counselling sessions, while 127 volunteers were given e-cigarettes without nicotine and counselling. The rest of the participants, 121, were just offered counselling.
The trial found that at 12 weeks, 21.9% of participants given nicotine-containing e-cigarettes had quit smoking, while only 17.3% of participants given non-nicotine e-cigarettes were successful, and only 9.1% of those recieving just counselling. The researchers concluded that those using nicotine-containing e-cigarettes were 2.4 times more likely to quit than those who did not.
“These findings show that nicotine e-cigarettes are effective for smoking cessation in the short term,” said lead study author Mark J. Eisenberg, MD, MPH, a cardiologist at the Jewish General Hospital, professor of medicine at McGill University. “Vaping with counseling is more effective than counseling alone, although it’s not a magic bullet for smoking cessation.”
E-cigs double the likelihood of quitting
“This study demonstrates that using a nicotine-containing e-cigarette and counselling are approximately twice as likely to quit smoking than smokers receiving counselling alone. This difference was statistically significant at three months and although no longer statistically significant remained of similar relative magnitude at six months,” said John Britton, emeritus professor of epidemiology at University of Nottingham.
The researchers added that sadly these findings will not be considered to hold much weight since their trial was stopped early, due to being unable to recruit the required number of participants.
“This is a well-conducted study that has one major weakness – it is too small to produce reliable evidence of the effectiveness of e-cigarettes. This is because the study was designed to be too small and then was unable to recruit its target number of people into the study because of problems making the e-cigarettes,” said Paul Aveyard, professor of behavioural medicine at University of Oxford – who was not involved in the study.
Read further: American College of Cardiology