Researchers at the Moffitt Cancer Center in the United States looked at how educational intervention can help vapers use their e-cigarettes to quit smoking. In a paper published by The Lancet Public Health, the authors state that “emerging evidence suggests that e-cigarettes can be a helpful tool in smoking cessation”.
The research team report results from a “first-of-its kind nationwide study” evaluating a targeted intervention aimed at transforming dual users’ e-cigarettes from a product that might maintain smoking into a tool that can be used to aid smoking cessation.
Given the prevailing American wind being staunchly anti-vape, the paper could help change attitudes – even if they do think dual-use of vapes and tobacco “maintains, and in some cases might increase, both nicotine dependence and exposure to toxins.”
Doctor Thomas Brandon, Chair of the Health Outcomes & Behaviour Department and Director of the Tobacco Research and Intervention Program at Moffitt, said: “We were concerned that smokers who started vaping in order to quit smoking often ended up instead using both products. This prompted our team to develop an easy-to-distribute intervention that could enhance dual users’ smoking cessation efforts and maintain smoking abstinence.”
The research team included members from Virginia Commonwealth University, Eastern Virginia Medical School, and the University of Auckland, New Zealand. They interviewed current vapers – some who had successfully switched and others who were still smoking as well as vaping.
The findings from the interviews were incorporated into the developed a series of “If You Vape” booklets. The booklets contained cessation advice tailored specifically for dual users.
The national trial used the booklets with 2,900 dual users. The team conducted interviews every three months to ascertain current smoking and vaping behaviour.
The team say: “The results showed that the targeted intervention produced smoking abstinence rates about 5 to 10 percentage points higher than the assessment group over the 18 months of treatment. The generic intervention produced abstinence rates in between the two other arms. The researchers noted that while those who reported little to no dependence on combustible cigarettes had greater overall success in quitting, more dependent smokers benefited the most from the new intervention. For example, among dependent smokers who received the booklets, about 20% had quit smoking by six months, compared to 13% of those in the assessment arm.” (1)
Brandon continued: “Our study indicates that dual users could benefit from specific interventions that leverage their ongoing e-cigarette use, which in turn could expand the public health potential of e-cigarettes. I think it is important to note that while our materials did not endorse the initiation of vaping, it also didn’t demonise use. We treated vapers with respect and passed along information to help them achieve their goal of quitting smoking.”
Treating vapers with respect? What a ridiculous thing to do.
- Targeted smoking cessation for dual users of combustible and electronic cigarettes: a randomised controlled trial – https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lanpub/article/PIIS2468-2667(20)30307-8/fulltext