Smokers who combine counselling and e-cigarettes are twice as likely to quit within three months, according to a recent study.
This is also true if the cigarettes contain no nicotine, albeit to a smaller degree.
The success rate of e-cigarettes containing nicotine was 22 percent compared to 17 percent without nicotine.
However, this was still higher than the 9 percent who were only given counselling.
Mark J. Eisenberg reported the results this week at the virtual American College of Cardiology 2020 scientific session:
“The long-term health effects of inhaling combustible tobacco are well established.
“However, even with the use of pharmacologic or behavioural therapy, well over two-thirds of those attempting to quit return to smoking within 1 year.”
Experts involved with the study, including Eisenberg, believe that more research and a long term follow-up are needed.
The trial involved 376 people in Canada who smoked on average 21 cigarettes a day for 35 years prior to attempting to quit.
All those taking part were considered motivated to quit but 91 percent had failed before but had attempted smoking cessation medications or behavioural therapy.
A third of those in the study had previously tried e-cigarettes.
Each was randomly assigned e-cigarettes with or without nicotine and some were given counselling alone.
Those in the e-cigarette groups were given a closed-system NJOY rechargeable device with tobacco-flavoured refill cartridges containing 15 mg/ml nicotine or identical nicotine-free versions.
They then received 100 hours of counselling over a 12 week period.