E-cigarettes with a cigarette-like level of nicotine are effective in reducing smoking

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E-cigarettes that release a cigarette-like amount of nicotine have been linked to decreased smoking and exposure to the major tobacco-related lung carcinogen, NNAL, even while smoking, according to a new study conducted by researchers at Virginia Commonwealth University and Penn College of Medicine in Hershey, Pennsylvania.

The study, which will be published in The Lancet Respiratory Medicine Journal, provides new and important information for smokers who may be trying to use e-cigarettes as a means to decrease their smoking habits and reduce their exposure to harmful toxins.

“”[We found] Nicotine-emitting e-cigarettes, such as a flammable cigarette, were effective in reducing smoking and exposure to a tobacco-related carcinogen, “said lead author Caroline O. Cobb, Ph.D., an associate professor in the VCU Department of Psychology in the United States School of Humanities and Sciences. “But it doesn’t happen by chance. The smoker must actively seek to reduce smoking by replacing it with the use of e-cigarettes. “

The researchers conducted a randomized controlled study of 520 participants who smoked more than nine cigarettes a day, were not currently using an e-cigarette device, and were interested in reducing but not quitting smoking.

For 24 weeks, participants used an e-cigarette machine filled with either 0, 8, or 36 milligrams per milliliter of liquid nicotine, or a plastic tube (in the shape of a cigarette) that did not deliver nicotine or aerosol. The e-cigarette conditions were chosen to reflect a range of nicotine delivery, either none, low (8 mg / ml), or cigarette-like (36 mg / ml). Participants were also given instructions on how to reduce smoking.

At weeks 0, 4, 12, and 24, researchers examined the participants’ urine and tested it for the tobacco-specific carcinogen 4- (methylnitrosamino) -1- (3-pyridyl) -1-butanol, also known as NNAL. They found that participants who used e-cigarettes filled with the cigarette-like level of liquid nicotine had significantly lower NNALs at week 24 compared to baseline and compared to those observed in the non-e-cigarette control condition Values.

The results represent an important addition to the scientific literature as they suggest that when e-cigarettes effectively deliver nicotine, smokers have greater success in reducing their exposure to smoking and tobacco-related toxins. This study is important for two reasons, Cobb said.

“First, many e-cigarettes have poor nicotine delivery profiles, and our results suggest that these products may be less effective in helping smokers change their behavior and associated exposure to toxins,” she said.

“Second, previous randomized controlled trials investigating whether e-cigarettes help smokers change their smoking habits / exposure to toxins have used e-cigarettes with low or unknown nicotine delivery profiles,” she said. “Our study demonstrates the importance of characterizing the nicotine release profile for e-cigarettes before conducting a randomized controlled trial. This work also has other important strengths over previous studies, including sample size, intervention duration, and multi-toxin exposure measures Control conditions. “

The question of whether the nicotine delivery profile of an e-cigarette predicts the ability to reduce harm and promote behavioral change in smokers remains highly relevant to policy makers, public health advocates, health care providers and smoking populations. This knowledge will lead to better-designed studies of the potential harms and benefits of e-cigarettes, and ultimately influence tobacco regulation policy, Cobb said.

The study contributes to the ongoing question of what role e-cigarettes play in changing smoking behavior.

Jonathan Foulds, Ph.D., professor of public health at Penn State (one of the two study sites) commented, “This study shows that smokers interested in reducing it are more likely to receive an e-cigarette with cigarette-like nicotine delivery that they achieve significant reductions in tobacco-related toxins, such as lower levels of exhaled carbon monoxide. “

In addition, the results of the study support limited safety concerns about the short-term use of the specific e-cigarette and liquid combinations, even in the context of cigarette smoking. Cobb added that, unlike the 24-week period of the study, very little is known about the effects of e-cigarettes over the years.

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More information:
“Effect of an electronic nicotine delivery system containing 0, 8, or 36 mg / ml liquid nicotine versus a cigarette substitute on exposure to tobacco-related toxins: a randomized controlled trial,” The Lancet Respiratory Medicine, 2021. www.thelancet.com/ journals / language … (21) 00022-9 / full text Provided by Virginia Commonwealth University

Quote: E-cigarettes with a cigarette-like nicotine content are effective in reducing smoking (2021, April 12). Retrieved April 12, 2021 from https://medicalxpress.com/news/2021-04-e-cigarettes-cigarette-like- Nicotine-effective.html

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