A clinical trial published in Addiction looks at e-cigarettes versus nicotine replacement treatment as harm reduction interventions for smokers who find quitting difficult.
Dr Jamie Hartmann-Boyce, Senior Research Fellow in Health Behaviours, University of Oxford, said:
“This study adds to a growing body of evidence showing that e-cigarettes with nicotine help people quit smoking and probably work better than nicotine replacement therapy. In this study, this was found to be the case even in people who had previously tried to quit but not been successful. This should provide further encouragement to people who smoke to consider using e-cigarettes with nicotine to help them quit, even if they’ve tried to quit before. Though not harm free, e-cigarettes are considerably safer than traditional cigarettes. People sometimes think that e-cigarettes are as or more harmful than smoking, but evidence does not support this. Instead, evidence suggests that people who switch from smoking to vaping are likely to improve their health. This is supported by new draft guidance from NICE and Public Health England.”
Prof Jacob George, Professor of Cardiovascular Medicine and Therapeutics, University of Dundee, said:
“The findings of this study are consistent with other published clinical trials. A tobacco cigarette contains over 7000 toxicants, so from a cardiovascular point of view, we also know that ecigs are comparatively less harmful than smoking.”
‘E-cigarettes versus nicotine replacement treatment as harm reduction interventions for smokers who find quitting difficult: Randomised controlled trial’ by Katie Myers Smith et al. was published in Addiction at 00:01 UK time on Wednesday 30 June 2021.
Prof Jacob George: “No interests to declare.”
Dr Jamie Hartmann-Boyce: “No conflicts of interest.”