Don’t treat e-cigarettes like cigarettes, say experts

“Cigarette” might appear in the term “e-cigarette” but that is as far as their similarities extend, reports a new Northwestern Medicine report published Friday, Sept. 28, in the journal Nicotine & Tobacco Research. Assuming e-cigarettes are equal to cigarettes could lead to misguided research and policy initiatives, the paper says.

“Comparing cigarettes to e-cigarettes can give us a false sense of what dangers exist because it misses the gap in understanding how people use them and how they can make people dependent,” said first author Matthew Olonoff, a Ph.D. student at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. “Before we start making policy changes, such as controlling nicotine or flavor options in e-cigarettes, we need to better understand what role these unique characteristics have.”

The commentary distills articles and published studies that compare e-cigarettes to cigarettes and supports the importance of investigating e-cigarettes as a unique nicotine delivery system. It was published less than a month after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration declared youth vaping an epidemic.

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Study casts doubt on effectiveness of e-cigs for smoking cessation

A study found no evidence that smokers who used e-cigarettes and other electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS) in the United States were more likely to quit smoking cigarettes than smokers who do not use these products. The study, looking at 2015-2016 data, found that 90 percent of people who used both ENDS and traditional cigarettes (dual users) were still smoking one year later. The research was conducted by researchers at the School of Public Health at Georgia State University and funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), part of the National Institutes of Health, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Center for Tobacco Products.

While eighty-eight percent of people who used both ENDS and traditional cigarettes (dual users) reported that quitting smoking was an “important reason” for using ENDS and forty-six percent reported they tried to “completely quit” smoking during the one-year study, only nine percent reported having quit at follow-up. More than half continued to smoke traditional cigarettes and use ENDS (dual use), and more than 37 percent were still smoking, but discontinued ENDS. The authors did find that users of ENDS were more likely to try to quit smoking than those who did not use ENDS. However, this did not translate to greater success with quitting smoking compared to smokers who did not use ENDS.

Full story at drugabuse.gov

Can e-cigarettes help smokers quit?

As e-cigarettes become more popular, fewer people are taking up smoking traditional cigarettes. But can e-cigarettes, an electronic nicotine delivery system, help people quit smoking altogether? That was the focus of a recent study led by a Hollings Cancer Center researcher.

The study found that smokers who are willing to use e-cigarettes tend to smoke less and have increased quit attempts, said Matthew Carpenter, Ph.D., a tobacco control and addiction expert at the cancer center at the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC).

“Combustible cigarettes are the most harmful form of nicotine delivery. Alternative delivery of nicotine, through e-cigarettes, could significantly reduce harm and the risks of cancer and other diseases to smokers,” he said.

Full story at Science Daily

E-cigarette online vendors triple, concerns raised about marketing, delivery

University of North Carolina Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center researchers have found the number of online vendors of electronic cigarettes, or e-cigarettes, increased more than threefold between 2013 and 2014. The researchers called this growth worrisome due to findings of low prices, a range of appealing flavors and ineffective age restrictions that could make these products accessible to youth.

The researchers report in the journal Tobacco Control that they identified 3,096 online e-cigarette vendors in 2014, which was up from 980 online vendors in 2013. Based on a content analysis of the 283 most popular sites, they found that vendors made a wide-range of social and health claims, including more than half citing health advantages. These findings build on a study they published earlier this year that identified issues in the age verification, shipping, and delivery methods used by online e-cigarette sellers.

Full story at Science Daily

E-cigarettes can help smokers quit, but there’s a catch

Frequent e-cigarette use does help smokers quit — a finding that Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center researchers say supports the use of e-cigarettes as a cessation aid for those trying to quit cigarette smoking. But, they note, an examination of a recent national survey uncovers important clues about who’s successful at quitting and why.

The findings, published in Nicotine & Tobacco Research, examined a national survey of more than 24,500 current or recent former cigarette smokers, which is the largest sample of smokers studied to date. This study, along with a July study published in the BMJ, provide some of the strongest evidence so far on the link between use of e-cigarettes and cessation, says the study’s lead author David Levy, PhD, professor of oncology at Georgetown Lombardi.

However, Levy notes, there are important nuances in the data that impact a person’s success in quitting cigarette smoking.

Full story at Science Daily