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Addict Behav. 2018 May;80:1-5. doi: 10.1016/j.addbeh.2017.11.033. Epub 2017 Nov 28.

Electronic cigarettes for adults with tobacco dependence enrolled in a tobacco treatment program: A pilot study.

Author information

1
Department of Internal Medicine, Section of Pulmonary & Critical Care Medicine, Yale School of Medicine, New Haven, CT, United States. Electronic address: stephen.baldassarri@yale.edu.
2
Department of Emergency Medicine, Yale School of Medicine, New Haven, CT, United States; Department of Health Policy, Yale School of Public Health, United States; Yale Cancer Center, United States.
3
Department of Internal Medicine, Section of Pulmonary & Critical Care Medicine, Yale School of Medicine, New Haven, CT, United States.
4
Occupational and Environmental Medicine Program, Department of Internal Medicine, Yale School of Medicine, New Haven, CT, United States.
5
Yale Cancer Center, United States; Smilow Cancer Center at Yale, New Haven Hospital, United States; Department of Psychiatry, Yale School of Medicine, New Haven, CT, United States.
6
Department of Public Health Sciences, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, SC, United States; Hollings Cancer Center, Charleston, SC, United States; Department of Psychiatry, Yale School of Medicine, New Haven, CT, United States.

Abstract

INTRODUCTION:

Electronic cigarettes (ECs) have emerged as a potential harm-reducing alternative for tobacco smokers. However, the role ECs might play in treatment settings is unclear. We conducted an exploratory study of treatment-seeking smokers enrolling in a standard tobacco treatment program who were provided with either a nicotine or non-nicotine EC to use as needed to cease tobacco smoking.

METHODS:

Treatment-seeking smokers received standard tobacco treatment for 8weeks and were given nicotine transdermal patch therapy, behavioral counseling, and either a nicotine or non-nicotine EC to use as needed. Smoking and EC use patterns were tracked longitudinally to week 24.

RESULTS:

40 subjects were enrolled into the study. At week 24, 6 subjects (15%) were abstinent, and the mean reduction in reported cigarettes smoked per day was 6.8±12. There were no significant differences in smoking outcomes between those who received a nicotine or non-nicotine EC (proportion abstinent at 24weeks: nicotine EC=4/20 (20%); non-nicotine EC=2/20 (10%); p=0.66). Among subjects assessed at follow-up, 62.5% were EC non-users.

CONCLUSIONS:

The addition of a 2nd generation EC to outpatient tobacco treatment among tobacco smokers is feasible. Among those who quit smoking, half were still using the EC at 6-month follow-up. Appeal of the EC among smokers was variable, and those who had quit smoking tended to switch to lower strength nicotine solutions. Further research is needed to determine whether ECs can reduce harm and be an effective adjunct to existing tobacco treatment interventions.

KEYWORDS:

Electronic cigarette; Smoking cessation; Tobacco treatment

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