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Study: ENDS Not Effective as Tobacco Cessation Method

sept2018image006.jpgElectronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS) users who also smoke cigarettes are not more likely to quit smoking than smokers who don't use ENDS devices, a study by Georgia State University's (GSU's) School of Public Health claims.

Published in the July 9 issue of the PLOS ONE journal, researchers report that they found no evidence to indicate that ENDS used in the United States are effective at “helping cigarette smokers quit at a population level, even though anecdotally, some smokers have said they found ENDS useful in their cessation efforts.”


Researchers conducted a population-based, prospective cohort study of a random probability sample of 1,284 U.S. adult smokers recruited in 2015 and re-contacted a year later. At the end of the one-year study, researchers found that 90 percent of "dual users" (participants who used both ENDS and traditional cigarettes at the beginning of the study at baseline) were still smoking.

At the end of the study, researchers found that the odds of quitting smoking were lower for those who used ENDS (9.4 percent) compared with smokers who did not use ENDS (18.9 percent). The researchers also found that smokers who used ENDS daily at any point during the study were less likely to quit smoking than nonusers.

Additionally, 90 percent of dual users were still smoking at follow-up. Among those dual users, about 54 percent were smoking cigarettes and using ENDS after a year, and more than 37 percent were still smoking cigarettes, but had stopped using ENDS.

"Many smokers are using ENDS in their smoking quit attempts, but these devices may not be providing a sufficiently satisfying nicotine delivery and overall user experience to completely supplant their smoking," said lead author Scott Weaver, Ph.D., assistant professor of epidemiology and biostatistics at GSU, in a news release.

Among smokers who didn't use ENDS, more than 73 percent smoked daily compared with about 71 percent among smokers who did use ENDS. No statistically significant difference was seen between daily smokers who used ENDS at any point during the study and those who did not.

Researchers did find, however, that users of ENDS were more likely to try to quit smoking, but this did not translate into greater success.Study participants who specifically said they were using ENDS to help stop smoking were actually less likely to quit than those who didn't use the devices.

Of the 1,081 baseline smokers who remained in the study at the one-year mark, 858 completed the follow-up survey.

Click here to read the full article on the American Academy of Family Physicians site.