E-cigarette use and smoking cessation among smokers who were initially never planning to quit

One of the main goals of cardiovascular and other chronic diseases prevention is a zero level of any nicotine-containing products consumption. However, e-cigarettes are often considered a kind of least-evil solution either for those who are not willing to quit smoking or for patients who failed to quit despite using all available support methods. An important paper suggesting possible positive effects of e-cigarettes use in smokers not planning to quit was published in JAMA Network Open. This analysis utilized used US nationally representative data from the longitudinal Population Assessment of Tobacco and Health Study, with participants evaluated in 3 pairs of interviews.

The weighted population of adult daily cigarette smokers who were not using e-cigarettes and had no plans to ever quit smoking, based on data from 1600 participants, was 56.1% male (95% CI, 53.4%-58.7%), 10.1% Hispanic (95% CI, 8.2%-12.3%); 29.3% were aged 55 to 69 years (95% CI, 26.2%-32.6%), 8.9% were aged 70 years or older (95% CI, 6.8%-11.5%), 37.6% smoked 20 to 29 cigarettes per day (95% CI, 34.7%-40.6%), and 12.7% smoked 30 or more cigarettes per day (95% CI, 10.9%-14.7%). Overall, 6.2% of the population (95% CI, 5.0%-7.5%) discontinued cigarette smoking. Discontinuation rates were higher among those who used e-cigarettes daily (28.0%; 95% CI, 15.2%-45.9%) compared with not at all (5.8%; 95% CI, 4.7%-7.2%; adjusted odds ratio [aOR], 8.11; 95% CI, 3.14-20.97). Furthermore, 10.7% (95% CI, 9.1%-12.5%) discontinued daily cigarette smoking, with higher rates of discontinuation observed among those who used e-cigarettes daily (45.5%; 95% CI, 27.4%-64.9%) compared with not at all (9.9%; 95% CI, 8.2%-11.8%; aOR, 9.67; 95% CI, 4.02-23.25). Nondaily e-cigarette use was not associated with cigarette discontinuation (aOR, 0.53; 95% CI, 0.08-3.35) or daily cigarette discontinuation (aOR, 0.96; 95% CI, 0.44-2.09).

In this cohort study, daily e-cigarette use was associated with greater odds of cigarette discontinuation among smokers who initially had no plans to ever quit smoking.


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