E-Cigarettes Tied to Quitting Among Smokers Not Trying to Quit

Findings seen for both discontinuation overall and discontinuing daily smoking

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TUESDAY, Jan. 4, 2022 (HealthDay News) -- Daily electronic cigarette use is associated with greater odds of cigarette discontinuation among smokers who initially had no plans to ever quit smoking, according to a study published online Dec. 28 in JAMA Network Open.

Karin A. Kasza, Ph.D., from the Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center in Buffalo, New York, and colleagues evaluated whether e-cigarette use is associated with discontinuing cigarette smoking among smokers who were initially never planning to quit. The analysis included data from 1,600 individuals participating in the Population Assessment of Tobacco and Health Study (waves 2 to 5 conducted between October 2014 and November 2019).

The researchers found that overall, 6.2 percent of the population discontinued cigarette smoking, with discontinuation rates higher among those who used e-cigarettes daily (28.0 percent) versus those not using e-cigarettes at all (5.8 percent; adjusted odds ratio [aOR], 8.11; 95 percent confidence interval [CI], 3.14 to 20.97). For those discontinuing daily cigarette smoking (10.7 percent), higher rates were seen among those who used e-cigarettes daily (45.5 percent) versus not at all (9.9 percent; aOR, 9.67; 95 percent CI, 4.02 to 23.25). There was no association observed between nondaily e-cigarette use and cigarette discontinuation (aOR, 0.53; 95 percent CI, 0.08 to 3.35) or daily cigarette discontinuation (aOR, 0.96; 95 percent CI, 0.44 to 2.09).

"We found evidence that the use of e-cigarettes could have a positive impact on this very hard-to-reach group of recalcitrant smokers," a coauthor said in a statement. "To truly understand the health impact of vaping on the U.S. population, we need to consider those with no intention to quit."

One author disclosed providing expert testimony on the health effects of smoking and tobacco industry tactics in lawsuits filed against the tobacco industry.

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