Success rates with nicotine personal vaporizers: a prospective 6-month pilot study of smokers not intending to quit November 10 2014

Electronic cigarettes (e-Cigs) are an attractive long-term alternative nicotine source to conventional cigarettes. Although they may assist smokers to remain abstinent during their quit attempt, studies using first-generation e-Cigs report low success rates.

Second-generation devices (personal vaporisers - PVs) may result in much higher quit rates, but their efficacy and safety in smoking cessation and/or reduction in clinical trials is unreported.

Method:  We conducted a prospective proof-of-concept study monitoring modifications in smoking behaviour of 50 smokers (unwilling to quit) switched onto PVs. Participants attended five study visits: baseline, week-4, week-8, week-12 and week-24.

The number of cigarettes/day (cigs/day) and exhaled carbon monoxide (eCO) levels were noted at each visit. Smoking reduction/abstinence rates, product usage, adverse events and subjective opinions of these products were also reviewed.

Results: Sustained 50% and 80% reduction in cigs/day at week-24 was reported in 15/50 (30%) and 7/50 (14%) participants with a reduction from 25cigs/day to 6cigs/day (p <0.001) and 3cigs/day (p <0.001), respectively.

Smoking abstinence (self-reported abstinence from cigarette smoking verified by an eCO <=10 ppm) at week-24 was observed in 18/50 (36%) participants, with 15/18 (83.3%) still using their PVs at the end of the study. A combined 50% reduction and smoking abstinence were shown in 33/50 (66%) participants.

Throat/mouth irritation (35.6%), dry throat/mouth (28.9%), headache (26.7%) and dry cough (22.2%) were frequently reported early in the study, but waned substantially by week-24. Participants' perception and acceptance of the products were very good.

Conclusion: The use of second-generation PVs substantially decreased cigarette consumption without causing significant adverse effects in smokers not intending to quit.Trial registration: ( Identifier: NCT02124200)

Author: Riccardo Polosa, Pasquale Caponnetto, Marilena Maglia, Jaymin B Morjaria, Cristina Russo
Credits/Source: BMC Public Health 2014, 14:1159