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Nicotine Tob Res. 2017 Dec 13;20(1):135-139. doi: 10.1093/ntr/ntx013.

A Descriptive Report of Electronic Cigarette Use After Participation in a Community-Based Tobacco Cessation Trial.

Author information

Division of Health Behavior and Health Promotion, Ohio State University College of Public Health, Columbus, OH.
Division of Epidemiology, Ohio State University College of Public Health, Columbus, OH.
Division of Biostatistics, Ohio State University College of Public Health, Columbus, OH.



Smokers are using electronic cigarettes, also known as e-cigarettes, as a cessation aid, despite uncertainty about their efficacy. This report describes the association between use of e-cigarettes before and after cessation treatment and tobacco abstinence at 12 months. It also presents characteristics of e-cigarette users and reasons for use.


A longitudinal observational secondary analysis of self-reported e-cigarette use was conducted among adult Appalachian smokers enrolled in a community-based tobacco dependence treatment trial (n = 217). Data were collected at baseline, 3, 6, and 12 months following treatment. The primary outcome measure was biochemically-confirmed 7-day point prevalence tobacco abstinence at 12 months post-treatment.


One in five participants reported using e-cigarettes post-treatment. Baseline sociodemographic and tobacco-related characteristics did not differ by e-cigarette use. Primary reasons for e-cigarette use included help in quitting, help in cutting down on cigarettes, and not as bad for health. At the 12 month follow-up, tobacco abstinence was significantly lower among post-treatment e-cigarette users (4.7%) than nonusers (19.0%); (OR = 0.21 95% CI: 0.05-0.91, p = .021). Baseline use was not associated with 12-month abstinence.


Among adult Appalachian smokers enrolled in community-based tobacco cessation treatment, use of e-cigarettes post-treatment was associated with lower abstinence rates at 12 months.


This descriptive report of electronic cigarette use after participation in a community-based group randomized tobacco dependence treatment trial adds to the body of science examining e-cigarette use and cessation. Post-treatment e-cigarette use was associated with less success in achieving abstinence at 12 months, as compared to nonuse. At 3 months post-treatment, the majority of those who reported use of e-cigarettes did so to assist with cessation.

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