Youth E-Cigarette Use Increased Odds of Cigarette Use

Henrietta Brewer
February 3, 2019

At the end of the year, almost 80 percent of the vapers were still using e-cigarettes, while only 9 percent of the participants in the other group continued with the nicotine replacement therapy.

All participants received weekly one-to-one behavioural support for at least four weeks.

But two editorials in the same publication threw some cold water on the trial's results.

Yet, sadly, polls show that of the 37.8 million adults in the United States who now smoke, roughly 65 percent think e-cigarettes are just as harmful as smoking traditional cigarettes.

Extrapolating their data, the researchers estimated that 820,414 youths had smoked a cigarette over the examined years, with almost 180,000 of those having used e-cigarettes previously. "We fear that the creation of a generation of nicotine-addicted teenagers will lead to a resurgence in the use of combustible tobacco in the decades to come", said lead author Jeffrey Drazen, editor in chief of NEJM.

The study team acknowledged, however, that prior research has demonstrated that when nicotine replacement products are paired with prescription medications - such as the nicotine receptor blocker Chantix (varenicline) and/or bupropion one year abstinence rates are the same or higher as the e-cig results.

Richard Miech from the University of MI, who was not involved in the study, told Reuters, "This is great news for cigarette smokers who want to quit".

"Although a large number of smokers report that they have quit smoking successfully with the help of e-cigarettes, health professionals have been reluctant to recommend their use because of the lack of clear evidence from randomised controlled trials. They were asked to set a 'quit day, ' and advised to use their e-cigarette regularly throughout the day, and whenever they felt they needed it", Przulj added.

"There is substantial evidence that e-cigarettes have less risk than traditional combustible cigarettes, but they are not without risks", Borrelli said.

For this study, Stokes and his colleagues analyzed data from the Population Assessment of Tobacco and Health Study, an ongoing series of surveys on tobacco use co-sponsored by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the National Institutes of Health.

At the same time, Rigotti and other experts cautioned that no vaping products have been approved in the help smokers quit. "Other strengths of the study include biochemical verification of smoking outcomes - the nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) arm had a choice of products (gum, patch, etc) and could switch between them if they wanted, the e-cig arm had a choice of e-liquids, and it was a pragmatic trial conducted in a real-world setting".

"This landmark research shows that switching to an e-cigarette can be one of the most effective ways to quit smoking, especially when combined with face-to-face support". This research should give doctors, nurses, pharmacists and Stop Smoking Service advisers further confidence to recommend e-cigarettes as an effective means of quitting. He said the company won't offer its smoke-free products to people who have never smoked or those who have quit smoking.

Professor Peter Hajek said: 'This is the first trial to test the efficacy of modern e-cigarettes in helping smokers quit.

For one, the United Kingdom has already been pretty welcoming to the idea of e-cigarette use as a cessation tool.

InnokinA new British study provides the strongest evidence yet that e-cigarettes are more effective as a smoking cessation aid than other forms of nicotine replacement. The other group was given a simple all-in-one vape kit (the Aspire One Kit or the Innokin One Kit 2016) and one or two 10 mL bottles of 18 mg/mL tobacco-flavored e-liquid.

The results were more startling when researchers compared low-risk kids to those more likely to take up smoking.

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