E-Cigarettes Found to be More Effective Than Other NRTs
The New England Journal of Medicine recently published a paper entitled ‘A Randomized Trial of E-Cigarettes versus Nicotine-Replacement Therapy’ which has been picked up by worldwide news outlets following some encouraging results regarding the effectiveness of e-cigarettes as a stop smoking aid.
The Aim of the Trial
There was previously very little in the way of evidence regarding the effectiveness of e-cigs as a stop smoking tool compared to other nicotine replacement therapies (NRTs) such as nicotine gum and patches.
The trial aimed to provide some answers as to whether e-cigarettes are as effective at smoking cessation as other widely available NRTs, evidence that could help determine if e-cigarettes should be more routinely recommended as an option by stop smoking services.
The Methods Involved
The study involved 886 adult participants who attended UK NHS operated stop smoking services, with some receiving a three-month supply of the NRT of their choice (some chose a combination of different NRTs) and others receiving an e-cigarette starter kit with a refillable device and a bottle of 18mg e-liquid.
The participants using an e-cigarette were then able to purchase e-liquids of their chosen flavour and strength for the remainder of the trial. As part of the trial, participants also took part in weekly support meetings for at least four weeks, which could continue for the remainder of the trial if the participant required.
The participants were involved in the trial for 1 year and whether they had remained abstinent at the end of the year was determined via biochemical validation, with anyone who did not return for the follow up and biochemical validation being assumed as not remaining abstinent.
At the end of the year long trial 18% of the participants using e-cigarettes were still abstinent, compared with 9.9% of those using nicotine replacement therapies.
Additionally, 80% of the e-cigarette users were still regularly vaping, with only 9% still likely to use their NRTs. It was also found that the e-cigarette using participants reported a greater decline in coughing and phlegm production than the NRT users.
This leads to the conclusion that e-cigarettes in conjunction with regular behavioural support can be considered more effective for smoking cessation than other nicotine replacement therapies.
What Do These Findings Mean?
These findings are extremely encouraging, and are bringing many to make the conclusion that e-cigarettes, when used in conjunction with regular behavioural support, should definitely be acknowledged by stop smoking clinics as a valuable resource in the bid to help people stop smoking.
It is hoped that these results will result in e-cigarettes being more widely offered by stop smoking services and that those working in these services will endeavour to become well trained in the use of vape devices and what e-liquids and nicotine strengths to offer to their clients.
If you are thinking about quitting smoking and would like some support, speak to your GP or visit your local stop smoking services for advice and help. You can also pop in to your local Evapo store and speak to a member of our expert team about your e-cigarette options and what device and e-liquid combinations would be best to help you along your way.
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