Study to explore e-cigarettes as smoking cessation tool

Posted on Tuesday, December 6, 2016

e-cigarette.webParticipants sought for clinical study

Despite the well-established risks of smoking, it continues to contribute to the death of more than 37,000 Canadians annually. Moreover, only 10 to 20 per cent of smokers will succeed in quitting using current cessation therapies, including nicotine patches, gum and counselling. The search for novel techniques prompted a new multi-centre clinical study of the effectiveness and safety of electronic cigarettes, which is being led by Dr. Mark Eisenberg at the Jewish General Hospital (JGH).

“The single most reversible cause of mortality in Canada is smoking,” emphasizes Dr. Eisenberg, a cardiologist and epidemiologist at the Lady Davis Institute at the JGH. “The goal of our study is to determine whether e-cigarettes can be used as a transitional tool from smoking conventional cigarettes to quitting completely.”

““The goal of our study is to determine whether e-cigarettes can be used as a transitional tool from smoking conventional cigarettes to quitting completely,” says Dr. Mark Eisenberg.

““The goal of our study is to determine whether e-cigarettes can be used as a transitional tool from smoking conventional cigarettes to quitting completely,” says Dr. Mark Eisenberg.

Participants over the age of 18 who have smoked at least ten cigarettes a day for more than a year and who are motivated to quit are being recruited. Investigators hope to involve 486 people. They will be randomized into one of three groups: nicotine e-cigarettes with individual counselling; non-nicotine e-cigarettes with individual counselling; or individual counselling alone. The treatment period will be twelve weeks, with follow-up for a year to evaluate whether the participants maintain abstinence, and their experience of withdrawal symptoms and side effects.

“Ultimately, multiple trials in multiple populations will be necessary to establish the efficacy of e-cigarettes,” said Dr. Eisenberg, “but ours is a significant first step.”

At the moment, neither Health Canada, nor the US Food and Drug Administration have guidelines concerning e-cigarettes. This trial will provide regulators, health care professionals, and smokers with important information about the efficacy and safety of e-cigarettes for smoking cessation.

For further information about the clinical trial, contact Shauna McGee, E3 Trial Coordinator, 514-340-8222, ext. 3240 or Shauna.McGee@ladydavis.ca

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One Response to Study to explore e-cigarettes as smoking cessation tool

  1. There are a few fundamental problems with this kind of research.

    The first one is the assumption that ecigs are just another kind of NRT. Well, they can be used like one, but their main purpose is to be an alternative nicotine containing consumer product, directly competing with combusted tobacco. Their success on the free market is that they are not just a viable alternative, but often more enjoyable than smoking. [More in my blog: Vaping vs NRT]

    RCTs require rather strict regimes for the different groups. Especially including the selection of devices, flavors and nicotine strength. This requirement by itself already eliminates the major factor for successfully switching to ecigs: Diversity. [More: Crippling Control]

    Without personal experience, a common erroneous assumption is that–like with cigarette brands–the differences would be just marginal. They are not. The difference are more like those of motor vehicles: There is no “one size fits all” and if you study just one type of pickup truck, many those results won’t be simply applicable to sports cars, motor cycles and busses. [Don’t Dismiss Differences]

    So, don’t be surprised if the results seem at odds with all the empirical data (aka “anecdotes”) of vapers in the wild.

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