Barcelona, Spain: First trial to compare e-cigarettes with nicotine patches shows comparable success in helping smokers to quit.
The first ever trial to compare e-cigarettes with nicotine patches has found that both methods result in comparable success in quitting, with roughly similar proportions of smokers who used either method remaining abstinent from smoking for six months after a 13 week course of patches or e-cigarettes.
The study, presented today (8 September 2013) at the European Respiratory Society (ERS) Annual Congress in Barcelona, Spain and published in The Lancet, is only the second controlled trial to be published which evaluates e-cigarettes, and is the first ever trial to assess whether e-cigarettes are more or less effective than an established smoking cessation aid, nicotine patches, in helping smokers to quit.
Led by Associate Professor Chris Bullen, Director of the National Institute for Health Innovation at The University of Auckland in New Zealand, a team of researchers recruited 657 smokers to the trial through adverts in local newspapers. Study participants were all people who wanted to quit smoking, and were divided into three groups: just under 300 (292) received 13 weeks' supply of commercially available e-cigarettes, each of which contained around 16mg nicotine. The same number (292) received 13 weeks' supply of nicotine patches, and a smaller number of participants (73) received placebo e-cigarettes, which contained no nicotine.
Over 13 weeks of using the cessation aids, and 3 months further follow-up, participants underwent testing to establish whether they had managed to remain abstinent from cigarettes. At the end of the six-month study period, around one in twenty study participants (overall, 5.7%) had managed to remain completely abstinent from smoking.
While the proportion of participants who successfully quit was highest in the e-cigarettes group (7.3%, compared to 5.8% for
|Contact: Lauren Anderson|
European Lung Foundation