Success rates with nicotine personal vaporizers: A prospective 6-month pilot study of smokers not intending to quit

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Abstract

Background: Electronic cigarettes (e-Cigs) are an attractive long-term alternative nicotine source to conventional cigarettes. Although they may assist smokers to remain abstinent during their quit attempt, studies using first generation e-Cigs report low success rates. Second generation devices (personal vaporisers - PVs) may result in much higher quit rates, but their efficacy and safety in smoking cessation and/or reduction in clinical trials is unreported. Method: We conducted a prospective proof-of-concept study monitoring modifications in smoking behaviour of 50 smokers (unwilling to quit) switched onto PVs. Participants attended five study visits: baseline, week-4, week-8, week-12 and week-24. Number of cigarettes/day (cigs/day) and exhaled carbon monoxide (eCO) levels were noted at each visit. Smoking reduction/abstinence rates, product usage, adverse events and subjective opinions of these products were also reviewed. Results: Sustained 50% and 80% reduction in cigs/day at week-24 was reported in 15/50 (30%) and 7/50 (14%) participants with a reduction from 25cigs/day to 6cigs/day (p < 0.001) and 3cigs/day (p < 0.001), respectively. Smoking abstinence (self-reported abstinence from cigarette smoking verified by an eCO ≤10 ppm) at week-24 was observed in 18/50 (36%) participants, with 15/18 (83.3%) still using their PVs at the end of the study. Combined 50% reduction and smoking abstinence was shown in 33/50 (66%) participants. Throat/mouth irritation (35.6%), dry throat/mouth (28.9%), headache (26.7%) and dry cough (22.2%) were frequently reported early in the study, but waned substantially by week-24. Participants' perception and acceptance of the products was very good. Conclusion: The use of second generation PVs substantially decreased cigarette consumption without causing significant adverse effects in smokers not intending to quit.

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Polosa, R., Caponnetto, P., Maglia, M., Morjaria, J. B., & Russo, C. (2014). Success rates with nicotine personal vaporizers: A prospective 6-month pilot study of smokers not intending to quit. BMC Public Health, 14(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/1471-2458-14-1159

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