New study finds vaping to be over six times more effective than NRT
A new Randomized Control Trial has found that recommending a refillable e-cigarette is a more effective approach for dependent smokers than prescribing Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT). The study was funded by Cancer Research UK and led by Dr Katie Myers Smith of Queen Mary’s Wolfson Institute of Preventive Medicine, London, and is published in the journal Addiction.
Researchers enrolled 135 smokers who had been unable to stop smoking with conventional methods. The participants were then randomised into two groups. One group received an eight-week supply of NRT of their choosing. The other received advice on e-cigarettes and e-liquids, and were instructed to obtain vaping products of their choosing using a £40 voucher. They then continued to buy e-liquid in the flavours and nicotine strengths of their choice. Products both groups received were accompanied by minimal behavioural support to quit smoking.
Both groups were followed up with after 6 months, and the group who had used e-cigarettes were found to have been over six times more likely to have quit smoking altogether (19.1% vs. 3.0%). Participants who reported that they stopped smoking or reduced their daily cigarette consumption by at least 50% at six-month follow-up were invited to provide a carbon monoxide (CO) reading.
Lead researcher and Health Psychologist Dr Katie Myers Smith from Queen Mary’s Wolfson Institute of Preventive Medicine, said: “These results have important clinical implications for smokers who have previously been unable to stop smoking using conventional treatments. E-cigarettes should be recommended to smokers who have previously struggled to quit using other methods, particularly when there is limited behavioural support available.”
Gillian Golden, IBVTA CEO, said: “Once again vaping has been shown to be more effective than NRT in helping smokers to quit. While this study is very positive for vaping, it comes at a time where the latest data from Action of Smoking and Health (ASH) found that almost a third of current smokers incorrectly believe vaping is more or equally harmful than smoking. We hope this points to the pressing need for public health campaigns on e-cigarettes and better training for health professionals about these products.’’