Smokers who use e-cigarettes no more likely to quit in the long term, study finds

Research has shown that while e-cigarette use helps quitting attempts in the short term, it does not have a significant effect after 12 months.

Woman vaping with e-cigarette

People who use e-cigarettes alongside traditional cigarettes are no more likely to quit smoking in the long term than those who only smoke cigarettes, research published in Nicotine & Tobacco Research (20 October 2018) has shown[1]

The study included 617 people who smoked cigarettes daily and 88 other people who did this while also using e-cigarettes either daily or on “some days per week”. 

At six months, dual users were 2.54 times more likely to report abstinence from cigarettes than exclusive cigarette smokers. However, there was no significant difference between the groups at 12 months or 18 months. There was also no difference at any time point in cigarette consumption, quit attempt rates or abstinence from all tobacco products.

The researchers said the findings cast doubt on the notion that dual use of e-cigarettes alongside tobacco is useful for smoking cessation.

“More research is needed to better understand the safety and efficacy of e-cigarettes as a cessation aid and possible harm-reduction tool, and to compare e-cigarette use with empirically validated cessation modalities,” they concluded.


[1] Sweet L, Brasky T, Cooper S et al. Quitting behaviors among dual cigarette and e-cigarette users and cigarette smokers enrolled in the tobacco user adult cohort. Nicotine Tob Res 2018;nty222. doi: 10.1093/ntr/nty222

Last updated
Clinical Pharmacist, CP, February 2019, Vol 11, No 2;11(2):DOI:10.1211/PJ.2019.20205955

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