Switching to electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) may be a useful strategy for reducing harm caused by combustible cigarettes in Black and Latinx smokers, according to a study.
According to Urban Health Today, cigarette smokers may switch to e-cigarettes in an attempt to kick the habit, although it is not yet clear whether this strategy is actually associated with less harm, notably whether exposure to nicotine is reduced. Here, researchers compared the harm incurred from the use of nicotine salt pod system (NSPS) e-cigarettes—the most common type on the market currently—versus combustible cigarettes in Black and Latinx smokers.
The researchers found that switching to e-cigarettes did not increase nicotine exposure, and they further observed that it was associated with short-term urinary 4-(methylnitrosamino)-1-(3-pyridyl)-1-butanol (NNAL) concentration reduction.
They randomized Black and Latinx participants in San Diego, Calif., and Kansas City, Mo., who smoked at least five combustible cigarettes a day on at least 25 of the past 30 days for at least six months to either e-cigarettes or combustible cigarettes (control group) for six weeks.
The e-cigarette group had a choice of pod flavors, which were 5% nicotine, and underwent education, training, and action planning to make the transition from combustible cigarettes to e-cigarettes; the control group continued smoking as usual. The main outcome measure was NNAL concentration at the end of the intervention.
Other outcomes included change in urinary cotinine, expired carbon monoxide (CO), respiratory symptoms, lung function, blood pressure, and seven-day history of combustible cigarette consumption. The e-cigarette group was also evaluated for two- and six-week switching rates. and switching rates (e-cigarette group only) at weeks 2 and 6. The study took place between 2018 and 2019, with data analyzation performed between Sept. 18, 2019, and Sept. 4, 2020.