Effects of E-Cigarettes Versus Nicotine Replacement Therapy on Short-Term Smoking Abstinence When Delivered at a Community Pharmacy

Summary of Study

Bottom Line: E-cigarettes (ECs) offered in a pharmacy setting are more than three times as likely to help smokers quit after four to six weeks than nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) alone. These results add to a growing body of evidence that ECs are an effective stop-smoking tool.

Because pharmacists are trained in smoking cessation and provide counseling, they have a positive role to play in smoking cessation and are cost-effective. Pharmacies can be considered an important community-based front-line service in which to engage with smokers.

In this study of 115 smokers, participants chose either an EC alone, EC + NRT, or NRT alone. Participants who used e-cigarettes were significantly more likely to report complete abstinence from smoking at four to six weeks compared to NRT alone. Nearly two-thirds of EC users (62%) reported cessation vs. just over one-third (35%) for those using NRT alone.

Compared with those using NRT, the odds of quitting with an EC increased by 3.23 and the odds of quitting with EC + NRT increased by 3.14. In other words, for every one person who quit successfully with NRT, 3.23 quit successfully with EC.

These results build on other research, including a recent trial in English Stop Smoking Services (SSS) which demonstrated that participants provided with an EC were almost twice as likely to quit than those prescribed NRT.

Read the full study here.