Electronic Cigarette Use and Cigarette Abstinence Over Two Years Among U.S. Smokers in the Population Assessment of Tobacco and Health Study

Summary of Study

Bottom Line: In this nationally-representative longitudinal cohort study of U.S. adult cigarette smokers, daily e-cigarette use, compared to no e-cigarette use, was associated with a 77% increased odds of prolonged cigarette smoking abstinence over the subsequent two years. This finding suggests that regular use of e-cigarettes may help some smokers stop smoking combustible cigarettes.

National evidence reviews from both the U.K. and the U.S. conclude that e-cigarettes are far safer than traditional smoking. In this study, smokers who use e-cigarettes are more likely to quit smoking. Therefore e-cigarette use is projected to be a net public health benefit.

Smokers in this study who used e-cigarettes daily were more likely to be abstinent from combustible cigarettes after two years compared to smokers who did not use e-cigarettes. These observational data suggest that frequent e-cigarette use is associated with subsequent abstinence from combustible tobacco products.

These are the first nationally representative cohort study data to show an association between e-cigarette use and sustained combustible cigarette abstinence rates over two years. These results are consistent with the hypothesis that when used daily, e-cigarettes may help smokers to stop smoking combustible cigarettes, but that less frequent e-cigarette use may not do so.

In this study, daily e-cigarette use was associated with higher odds of prolonged cigarette smoking abstinence compared to non-use of e-cigarettes (11% vs 6%). Non-daily e-cigarette use was not associated with prolonged cigarette smoking abstinence. 

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