E-cigarettes have uncertain role for smoking cessation
PHILADELPHIA — The role e-cigarettes play on tobacco dependence, the morbidity and potentially mortality from tobacco is “unclear,” a speaker said at the American College of Physicians Internal Medicine Meeting.
Frank T. Leone, MD, MS, director of comprehensive smoking treatment programs and professor of medicine at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania pointed to several studies to explain his point.
“A recent randomized trial that put electronic e-cigarettes directly into the hands of the smoking population to see what these people would do found 18% put the traditional cigarette down vs. 10% who were exposed to the patch,” he told attendees. “Another recent meta-analysis found that e-cigarettes made it harder to quit smoking, but the data used was very weak.”
Leone said he has experienced the doubt about e-cigarettes first-hand.
“My personal theory is that for some patients, e-cigarettes represent something really important. But other patients see it as something that gets in the way of their clinician’s efforts to get them to curb their efforts to smoke. The challenge for us in the scientific community will be determining who’s who in each of these situations,” he said.
Research summarized on Healio has detailed the inconsistent findings surrounding e-cigarettes.
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E-cigarette use may not result in long-term smoking cessation
The use of electronic cigarettes greatly improved the likelihood of smoking abstinence in study participants after 1 month, but the effect diminished at later follow-ups, according to data presented at the American Thoracic Society International Conference. Read more.
Youth e-cigarette use foreshadows combustible cigarette use
Youths who used e-cigarettes were at increased risk for starting and using combustible cigarettes, according to findings recently published in JAMA Network Open. Read more.
Adolescent e-cigarette use may not lead to combustible cigarette use
Previously published data suggesting that people, especially teenagers, who use electronic cigarettes are more likely to start smoking combustible cigarettes may not be accurate, according to findings published in Drug and Alcohol Dependence. Read more.
Many parents ignorant of e-cigarette poisoning risks to children
While e-cigarette use was found in 12.3% of households, often alongside regular cigarettes, many parents who used e-cigarettes were unaware of the potential health risks for children, such as nicotine poisoning, according to a recent survey. Read more.
Most family physicians do not recommend e-cigarettes for smoking cessation
Despite recent support for family physicians to recommend e-cigarettes to patients who are trying to quit smoking, most of them do not, according to findings recently published in the Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine. Read more.
Reference: Leone FT. “A modern approach to tobacco dependence.” Presented at: American College of Physicians Internal Medicine Meeting; April 11-13, 2019; Philadelphia.
Disclosures: Leone reports no relevant financial disclosures.