Smoking cessation rates with e-cigarettes do not differ from placebo

  • Lucchiari C & al.
  • Addict Behav
  • 30 Nov 2019

  • curated by Kelli Whitlock Burton
  • Univadis Clinical Summaries
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Takeaway

  • Smokers in a smoking cessation program who received nicotine e-cigarettes plus counseling smoked fewer tobacco cigarettes but were no more likely to have quit smoking at 6 months than smokers who received a placebo plus counseling or counseling alone.
  • The e-cigarette group was more likely to report a dry cough.

Why this matters

  • Studies of the use of e-cigarettes in smoking cessation have yielded conflicting results.

Study design

  • Double-blind, randomized controlled trial.
  • 155 smokers in a smoking cessation program received counseling plus a nicotine e-cigarette kit (n=52) or a nicotine-free e-cigarette kit (placebo; n=51) or counseling alone (control; n=52).
  • Funding: Fondazione Umberto Veronesi.

Key results

  • The nicotine e-cigarette group smoked fewer tobacco cigarettes (mean, 11.007 vs 14.026 for placebo and 13.454 for controls; P<.020>
  • Mean exhaled carbon monoxide was lowest with the nicotine e-cigarette group (12.01 vs 15.28 for placebo and 16.52 for controls; P<.025>
  • The nicotine e-cigarette group had the lowest Fagerstrom test for nicotine dependence score (3.12 vs 4.32 for placebo and 3.59 for controls; P<.032>
  • No significant difference seen between groups in smoking abstinence at 6 months.
  • The nicotine group had higher rates of dry cough at 6 months (13.9% vs 6.1% for placebo and 8.54% for controls).

Limitations

  • Only people aged >55 years included.