E-cigs Work Better than Nicotine Replacement Therapy

It’s a controversial topic here in Australia.

But a new UK study, just published in the New England Journal of Medicine, gives strong support the role of e-cigarettes as a smoking cessation therapy.

The randomised controlled trial of almost 900 adult smokers wanting to quit found the one-year abstinence rate was 18% among the e-cigarette users compared to 9.9% among those who were randomised to receive nicotine replacement therapy.

Much of the difference could be attributed to adherence to the assigned product. After 12 months, 80% of the e-cigarette group were still using the device whereas only 9% of the alternative group were still taking their nicotine replacement therapy despite being able to choose between the patch, gum, lozenge, nasal spray, inhalator, mouth spray, mouth strip, and microtabs (or any combination of these).

Participants in both groups underwent the same multi-session behavioural support as per best practice guidelines.

This study provides some of the strongest evidence to date that e-cigarettes are significantly better than nicotine replacement therapy in helping people quit smoking, the study authors suggest.

“This is particularly noteworthy given that nicotine replacement was used under expert guidance, with access to the ...



Hajek P, Phillips-Waller A, Przulj D, Pesola F, Smith KM, Bisal N, et al. A Randomized Trial of E-Cigarettes versus Nicotine-Replacement Therapy.  N Engl J Med. 2019 Jan 30;  DOI: 10.1056/NEJMoa1808779 [Epub ahead of print]

Drazen JM, Morrissey S, Campion EW. The Dangerous Flavors of E-Cigarettes. N Engl J Med. 2019 Jan 30. DOI: 10.1056/NEJMe1900484 [Epub ahead of print]

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