Smoking is the leading cause of preventable death worldwide. Finding effective interventions for smoking cessation has proven difficult and existing interventions have limited consumer appeal. Electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) are becoming increasingly popular and a possible role for them in smoking cessation is being debated. Our objective was therefore to analyse existing research to investigate whether use of e-cigarettes is an effective smoking cessation method.
Hypothesis: We assessed the hypothesis that use of e-cigarettes is an effective smoking cessation method.
Link to publication: http://circ.ahajournals.org/content/130/Suppl_2/A14945.short
Muhammad A Rahman
Nicholas R Hann
Andrew M Wilson
Methods: A systematic review of articles in English of any publication date was conducted by searching PubMed, Web of Knowledge and Scopus databases. Published studies investigating the effectiveness of e-cigarettes for smoking cessation among current smokers were included. Studies were systematically reviewed, and meta-analyses were conducted using the Mantel-Haenszel fixed-effect and random-effects models. Heterogeneity and quality of the selected studies were also evaluated.
Results: Six studies were selected, including two randomised controlled trials, two cohort studies and two cross-sectional studies, and included 7,551 participants. Meta-analyses included 1,242 participants on whom complete smoking cessation data was available. Of these, 224 (18%) reported smoking cessation after using nicotine-enriched e-cigarettes for a minimum period of six months. Use of such e-cigarettes was positively associated with smoking cessation with a pooled Effect Size of 0.20 (95%CI 0.11-0.28). Nicotine filled e-cigarettes were more effective in achieving cessation compared to
those without nicotine (pooled Risk Ratio 2.29, 95%CI 1.05-4.97). Use of e-cigarettes was also effective in reducing smokers’ daily cigarette consumption. The studies included were heterogeneous, (I2=93%, p<0.001). A meta-regression model showed that 98% of this heterogeneity was caused by study design and gender variation.
In conclusion, available literature suggests that the use of e-cigarettes may be an effective alternate smoking cessation method. Further research is required to investigate this among both genders.