Cookie policy: This site uses cookies (small files stored on your computer) to simplify and improve your experience of this website. Cookies are small text files stored on the device you are using to access this website. For more information please take a look at our terms and conditions. Some parts of the site may not work properly if you choose not to accept cookies.

Join

Subscribe or Register

Existing user? Login

Quitters do as well using e-cigarettes as with NRT

 

Smokers who want to quit do as well with electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) as with nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) patches, a clinical trial conducted in New Zealand suggests (Lancet online 8 September 2013).

The trial — the first to compare e-cigarettes with NRT — involved 657 adults who were provided with 13 weeks’ supply of the smoking cessation aids. Carbon monoxide testing was used to measure abstinence. Telephone support was available but fewer than half the participants accessed this.

The researchers report that treatment was “modestly effective”: six-month abstinence rates were 7.3 per cent, 5.8 per cent, and 4.1 per cent, respectively, for people receiving nicotine e-cigarettes, NRT patches and placebo e-cigarettes. These differences were not statistically significant.

Among people who did not manage to quit, more in the nicotine e-cigarette group than the NRT group had reduced their daily cigarette consumption by at least half at six months. There was no significant difference in adverse events between the groups but the researchers emphasise that more research is needed into longer-term safety of e-cigarettes.

In an accompanying editorial, Peter Hajek, from the UK Centre for Tobacco and Alcohol Studies, Queen Mary University of London, comments: “Health professionals will now hopefully feel easier about recommending e-cigarettes to smokers, or at least condoning their use.”

In the UK, it was recently announced that e-cigarettes are to be regulated as medicines from 2016 (PJ 2013;290:691).

Citation: The Pharmaceutical Journal DOI: 10.1211/PJ.2013.11125351

Have your say

For commenting, please login or register as a user and agree to our Community Guidelines. You will be re-directed back to this page where you will have the ability to comment.

Recommended from Pharmaceutical Press

  • Print
  • Share
  • Comment
  • Save
  • Print Friendly Version of this pagePrint Get a PDF version of this webpagePDF

Supplementary images

  • E-cigarettes (Pamela Panella Dreamstime.com)

Jobs you might like

Newsletter Sign-up

Want to keep up with the latest news, comment and CPD articles in pharmacy and science? Subscribe to our free alerts.