A Hawaii-based survey analyzed responses from self-identified smokers who had consumed at least three cigarettes a day and at least 100 cigarettes in their lifetime. The survey asked participants if they had ever used e-cigarettes to quit smoking and captured additional demographic information. It further assessed participants’ nicotine dependence, number of quit attempts in the past and motivation and readiness to quit smoking.
According to the study’s results, approximately 13 percent of participants had tried using e-cigarettes as a means of quitting smoking. Most e-cigarette users were younger and had been smoking for fewer years than others. Native Hawaiians were also significantly less likely to use e-cigarettes than whites. Smokers who had used nicotine replacement gum, patches, bupropion or varenicline were two to four times more likely to have used e-cigarettes as cessation aids. Further analysis revealed that motivation to quit smoking was higher among those who tried e-cigarettes than those who tried other cessation tools.
“If e-cigarettes are ineffective as cessation aids and are potentially a risk, strategies need to be developed to help younger smokers find effective cessation aids. Conversely, if e-cigarettes are found to be relatively safer and effective as cessation aids, the appeal that they have for younger adults should be used to enhance smoking cessation among younger smokers,” the authors explain.
“Despite the lack of firm evidence regarding safety or effectiveness, e-cigarettes appear to have become cessation aids of choice for some smokers who appear to show a relatively higher motivation to quit smoking. Thus, this study confirms the importance of promptly developing appropriate e-cigarette regulations that address smokers’ use of e-cigarettes as cessation products,” the authors conclude.
Smokers who try e-cigarettes to quit smoking: Findings from a multiethnic study in Hawaii – Pallav Pokhrel, American Journal of Public Health