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Study: E-cigarettes not linked to higher quit rates

March 24, 2014
Courtesy of JAMA Network Journals
and World Science staff

Use of elec­tron­ic cig­a­rettes is­n’t as­so­ci­at­ed with great­er rates of quit­ting cig­a­rettes or cut­ting back on cig­a­rette use af­ter a year, a study has found.

The study by Ra­chel A. Gra­na and col­leagues from the Uni­vers­ity Cal­i­for­nia, San Fran­cis­co, ap­pears in the jour­nal JAMA In­ter­nal Med­i­cine.

E-cig­a­rettes have been pro­mot­ed as smok­ing cessa­t­ion tools, but stud­ies of their ef­fec­tive­ness have been un­con­vinc­ing, ac­cord­ing to the re­search­ers. They an­a­lyzed self-reported da­ta from 949 smok­ers to de­ter­mine if e-cig­a­rettes were as­so­ci­at­ed with more suc­cess­ful quit­ting or re­duced cig­a­rette con­sump­tion.

E-cig­a­rette use at the be­gin­ning of the study pe­ri­od was­n’t as­so­ci­at­ed with quit­ting one year lat­er or with a change in cig­a­rette con­sump­tion, Gra­na and col­leagues said. They al­so found that e-cig­a­rette use was more com­mon among wom­en, young­er adults and peo­ple with less educa­t­ion.

While the study was small, “our da­ta add to the cur­rent ev­i­dence that e-cig­a­rettes may not in­crease rates of smok­ing cessa­t­ion,” the re­search­ers wrote. “Regula­t­ions should pro­hib­it ad­ver­tis­ing claim­ing or sug­gest­ing that e-cig­a­rettes are ef­fec­tive smok­ing cessa­t­ion de­vices un­til claims are sup­ported by sci­en­tif­ic ev­i­dence.”

In a re­lat­ed ed­i­tor’s note, Mitch­ell H. Katz, a dep­u­ty ed­i­tor of the jour­nal added that “un­for­tu­nately, the ev­i­dence on wheth­er e-cig­a­rettes help smok­ers to quit is con­tra­dic­to­ry and in­con­clu­sive. Gra­na and col­leagues in­crease the weight of ev­i­dence in­di­cat­ing that e-cig­a­rettes are not as­so­ci­at­ed with high­er rates of smok­ing cessa­t­ion.”


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Use of electronic cigarettes isn’t associated with greater rates of quitting cigarettes or cutting back on cigarette use after a year, a study has found. The study by Rachel A. Grana and colleagues from the University California, San Francisco, appears in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine. E-cigarettes have been promoted as smoking cessation tools, but studies of their effectiveness have been unconvincing, according to the researchers. They analyzed self-reported data from 949 smokers to determine if e-cigarettes were associated with more successful quitting or reduced cigarette consumption. E-cigarette use at the beginning of the study period wasn’t associated with quitting one year later or with a change in cigarette consumption, Grana and colleagues said. They also found that e-cigarette use was more common among women, younger adults and people with less education. While the study was small, “our data add to the current evidence that e-cigarettes may not increase rates of smoking cessation,” the researchers wrote. “Regulations should prohibit advertising claiming or suggesting that e-cigarettes are effective smoking cessation devices until claims are supported by scientific evidence.” In a related editor’s note, Mitchell H. Katz, a deputy editor of the journal added that “unfortunately, the evidence on whether e-cigarettes help smokers to quit is contradictory and inconclusive. Grana and colleagues increase the weight of evidence indicating that e-cigarettes are not associated with higher rates of smoking cessation.”