Author(s): Polosa R, Caponnetto P, Maglia M, Morjaria JB, Russo C
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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. TRIAL REGISTRATION: (ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT02124200).
This article was published in BMC Public Health
and referenced in Journal of Addiction Research & Therapy