HealthDay News — Use of electronic-cigarettes does not increase the rate of smoking cessation or reduce cigarette consumption after one year, study findings show.
“Regulations should prohibit advertising claiming or suggesting that e-cigarettes are effective smoking cessation devices until claims are supported by scientific evidence,” Rachel A. Grana, PhD, MPH, from the University of California in San Francisco, and colleagues reported in JAMA Internal Medicine.
They conducted a longitudinal analysis using a national sample of current U.S. smokers to examine the impact of e-cigarette use on smoking habits. Data were analyzed from 949 current smokers who competed a baseline survey in November 2011 and a follow-up survey in November 2012.
The researchers observed no significant association between baseline e-cigarette use and greater intention to quit smoking (P=0.09). Baseline e-cigarette use was not a significant predictor for quitting one year later (odds ratio, 0.71; P = 0.35).
Quit status was significantly predicted by intention to quit (odds ratio, 5.59; P< 0.001) and cigarettes smoked per day (odds ratio, 0.97; P=0.02), but not by past 30-day e-cigarette use (odds ratio, 0.76; P=0.46).
After controlling for baseline cigarette consumption, baseline e-cigarette use was not associated with a change in cigarette consumption among participants who reported smoking at both baseline and follow-up (P=0.25).
In an accompanying editorial Mitchell H. Katz, MD, said existing data do not support the notion that e-cigarettes help smokers quit, but that there continues to be potential for harm with these products, particularly while they remain unregulated.
“[T]he tough restrictions on the sale of tobacco to minors do not exist for e-cigarettes,” Katz wrote. “Also, the limitations on where people can smoke do not currently apply […] with the result that the progress on changing social norms through smoking bans may be threatened.”