JUN 27, 2021 5:49 AM PDT

Are e-cigarettes actually helpful for smoking cessation?

New research published in The Lancet Public Health reports on a study that looked at interventions targeting e-cigarettes. The study considered how dual users (who smoke both e-cigarettes and tobacco cigarettes) could use e-cigarettes to aid in smoking cessation. Almost 41% of the approximately 8 million adults in the U.S. using e-cigarettes are dual users; the study aimed to analyze the impact of e-cigarette use on people who begin using e-cigarettes as a way to wean off of smoking tobacco cigarettes.

"We were concerned that smokers who started vaping in order to quit smoking often ended up instead using both products," said Thomas Brandon, Ph.D., chair of the Health Outcomes & Behavior Department and director of the Tobacco Research and Intervention Program at Moffitt Cancer Center's Tobacco Research and Intervention Program. The concern is that using both e-cigarettes as a transition to stop using tobacco cigarettes ultimately only increases nicotine dependence and exposure to toxins. "This prompted our team to develop an easy-to-distribute intervention that could enhance dual users' smoking cessation efforts and maintain smoking abstinence."

Brandon collaborated with colleagues from Virginia Commonwealth University; Eastern Virginia Medical School; and the University of Auckland to create a series of "If You Vape" booklets produced from interviews with dual vapers. They then tested out the booklets’ utility by distributing them to almost 2,900 dual users that were categorized into three distinct groups: a control group that did not receive any intervention, a group that received standard smoking cessation materials, and a group that received the targeted intervention "If You Vape" booklets.

They found that the participants in the targeted intervention group demonstrated smoking abstinence rates from 5-10% higher than the control group and the standard group over the follow-up period of 18 months. The team also observed that more dependent smokers showed the highest percentage of benefit.

"Our study indicates that dual users could benefit from specific interventions that leverage their ongoing e-cigarette use, which in turn could expand the public health potential of e-cigarettes," said Brandon. "I think it is important to note that while our materials did not endorse the initiation of vaping, it also didn't demonize use. We treated vapers with respect and passed along information to help them achieve their goal of quitting smoking."

In the future, the team plans to continue their investigation to consider the impacts of alternative intervention modalities that could include a mobile application or trying the intervention in clinical settings.

Sources: The Lancet Public Health, Eureka Alert

About the Author
  • Kathryn is a curious world-traveller interested in the intersection between nature, culture, history, and people. She has worked for environmental education non-profits and is a Spanish/English interpreter.
You May Also Like
AUG 24, 2021
Technology
CRISPR Helps Identify New Therapeutic Target for Leukemia
AUG 24, 2021
CRISPR Helps Identify New Therapeutic Target for Leukemia
Researchers may have found a new druggable target in patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML), thanks to a CRISPR scre ...
AUG 29, 2021
Cancer
Blood Test over 90% Accurate in Detecting Lung Cancer
AUG 29, 2021
Blood Test over 90% Accurate in Detecting Lung Cancer
An AI-powered blood test was able to correctly detect the presence of lung cancer over 90% of the time in patient sample ...
OCT 25, 2021
Cancer
Could Pomegranates Play a Role in Cancer Prevention or Treatment?
OCT 25, 2021
Could Pomegranates Play a Role in Cancer Prevention or Treatment?
Pomegranate (Punica granatum L) is an ancient fruit grown primarily in western Asia and Mediterranean regions.  ...
DEC 02, 2021
Clinical & Molecular DX
Gut Bacteria Slip Into the Pancreas, Cause Cancer
DEC 02, 2021
Gut Bacteria Slip Into the Pancreas, Cause Cancer
  Scientists have connected the dots between bacteria in the digestive system and an increased risk of malignant pa ...
DEC 09, 2021
Cancer
Inflammation: Naughty or Nice List?
DEC 09, 2021
Inflammation: Naughty or Nice List?
Aulus Cornelius Celsus, a Roman physician, first identified the four major characteristics of inflammation in the first ...
JAN 06, 2022
Cancer
Breakthrough COVID Cases Cause Concern for Cancer Patients
JAN 06, 2022
Breakthrough COVID Cases Cause Concern for Cancer Patients
As we enter the third year of the COVID-19 pandemic, we continue to learn more about the respiratory virus leading to a ...
Loading Comments...