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Evidence that electronic cigarettes are effective for smoking cessation long-term is lacking

Date:
May 17, 2015
Source:
American Thoracic Society (ATS)
Summary:
There is little reliable evidence that electronic cigarettes are effective for long-term smoking cessation, according to a new analysis of the currently available research.
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There is little reliable evidence that electronic cigarettes are effective for long-term smoking cessation, according to a new analysis of the currently available research which was presented at the 2015 American Thoracic Society International Conference.

"While e-cigarettes have been shown to significantly improve abstinence at 1 month compared with placebo, no such evidence is available supporting their effectiveness for longer periods," said lead author Riyad al-Lehebi, MBBS, of the University of Toronto. "Until such data are available, there are a number of other smoking cessation aids available that have a more robust evidence base supporting their efficacy and safety."

The meta-analysis included four studies of the efficacy and safety of e-cigarettes for promoting smoking cessation in 1011 patients and an additional 18 studies of the safety of e-cigarettes reporting adverse effects that occurred in 1212 patients.

At 1 month, e-cigarettes significantly improved the prevalence of abstinence among study subjects, but this effect was no longer observed at 3- or 6-month follow-ups. In one study, no significant difference in 6-month abstinence rates were observed between e-cigarettes and placebo or between e-cigarettes and the nicotine patch.

Adverse effects of e-cigarette use noted in the studies included dry cough, throat irritation, and shortness of breath. The incidence of serious adverse events did not differ between e-cigarettes and placebo e-cigarettes, but e-cigarette use was associated with a higher rate of adverse effects than the nicotine patch.

"Although e-cigarettes are widely promoted and used as a smoking cessation tool, we found no data supporting their long-term efficacy and safety," said al-Lehebi. "Given the potential health risks of using these unproven and unregulated devices, individuals seeking help with smoking cessation should consider other more well-established options until more research is performed."


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Materials provided by American Thoracic Society (ATS). Note: Content may be edited for style and length.


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American Thoracic Society (ATS). "Evidence that electronic cigarettes are effective for smoking cessation long-term is lacking." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 17 May 2015. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/05/150517143350.htm>.
American Thoracic Society (ATS). (2015, May 17). Evidence that electronic cigarettes are effective for smoking cessation long-term is lacking. ScienceDaily. Retrieved May 23, 2017 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/05/150517143350.htm
American Thoracic Society (ATS). "Evidence that electronic cigarettes are effective for smoking cessation long-term is lacking." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/05/150517143350.htm (accessed May 23, 2017).

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