Daily e-cigarette use was associated with an increase in smoking cessation attempts and a decrease in the number of cigarettes smoked daily among adults who aimed to quit tobacco, but daily use increased the frequency of smoking relapse among former smokers, according to study results published in JAMA Internal Medicine.

Investigators conducted a study using data from the ongoing Consultants des Centres d’Examens de Santé cohort study in France to observe the associations among the daily use of e-cigarettes, smoking cessation among current smokers, and relapse among former smokers.

A total of 5400 smokers and 2025 former smokers (average follow-up of 23.4 months and 22.1 months, respectively) were enrolled.

Compared with daily smokers who did not use e-cigarettes, the daily e-cigarette arm (53.8% women; average age, 44.9 years) resulted in a significantly greater decrease in the number of cigarettes smoked per day (-2.7 vs -4.4) and a higher adjusted relative risk of smoking cessation (1.67).

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For the former smoker arm (49.6% women; average age, 43.6 years), daily e-cigarette use was associated with an increase in the frequency of smoking relapse that decreased over time. Adjusted hazard ratios decreased from 1.70 among 2025 individuals who quit as of 2010 to 0.94 among 601 individuals who quit as of 2013.

“[O]ver time, [e-cigarette] users who quit tobacco tended to relapse to smoking more frequently than did nonusers,” the investigators noted. “Thus, while [e-cigarette] use can help persons reduce their smoking levels in the short term, there is no evidence that it is an efficacious smoking cessation aid in the long term.”

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Reference

Gomajee R, El-Khoury F, Goldberg M, et al. Association between electronic cigarette use and smoking reduction in France [published online July 15, 2019]. JAMA Intern Med. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2019.1483