“Participants who used e-cigarettes with nicotine smoked fewer tobacco cigarettes than any other group after 6 months.”
The study titled, “Benefits of e-cigarettes in smoking reduction and in pulmonary health among chronic smokers undergoing a lung cancer screening program at 6 months,” was conducted with the aim of determining whether e-cigarettes may be considered valid and safe in supporting smoking cessation, and assess their effects on pulmonary function by noting differences in conditions such as coughs, shortness of breath and so forth, which are common in smokers.
A total of 210 smokers aged 55 and above, who had smoked an average of 10 cigarettes for a minimum of 10 years were recruited. They were randomized into three groups, one given nicotine e-cigarettes, one given placebos (nicotine-free) and a control group given no e-cigarettes. All participants received a 3 month smoking cessation program that included a cognitive-behavioral program to support them in their efforts of changing their behaviour and increase their motivation to quit.
Vapers had a lower rate of exhaled CO2
Data compiled via self-reported measures, clinical evaluations and the Leicester Cough Questionnaire, found that among participants who were still smoking at 6 months, there was a significant difference in the number of daily cigarettes smoked between the groups, with participants in the nicotine e-cigarette group smoking on average 11 cigarettes per day, compared to 14 in the nicotine free e-cigarette group and 13.5 in the control group.
Another group difference in those who were still smoking at 6 months, was a significant difference in exhaled CO between groups (p<0.025). Participants in the nicotine e-cigarette group had a mean exhaled CO of 12.0, vs 15.3 in the nicotine-free e-cigarette group and 16.5 in the control group. (A lower rate of exhaled CO2 is preferred from a health perspective).
E-cigs once again found effective for smoking cessation
Finally, there was also a significant difference in nicotine dependence between the groups (p<0.032). All participants had low-to moderate dependence at 6 months; smokers in the nicotine e-cigarette group had a mean core of 3.12, compared to 4.32 in the nicotine-free e-cigarette group and 3.59 in the control group.
“After 6 months about 20% of the entire sample stopped smoking. Participants who used e-cigarettes with nicotine smoked fewer tobacco cigarettes than any other group after 6 months (p < .020). Our data add to the efficacy and safety of e-cigarettes in helping smokers reduce tobacco consumption and improving pulmonary health status,” concluded the researchers.