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NAQC Newsroom: Research

Electronic Cigarettes for Smoking Cessation: A Systematic Review.

Thursday, May 12, 2016  
Posted by: Natalia Gromov
Muhannad Malas, Jan van der Tempel, Dr. Robert Schwartz, Alexa Minichiello, Clayton Lightfoot, Aliya Noormohamed, Jaklyn Andrews, Dr. Laurie Zawertailo, Dr. Roberta Ferrence.
Electronic Cigarettes for Smoking Cessation: A Systematic Review.
Nicotine Tob Res (2016)doi: 10.1093/ntr/ntw119First published online: April 25, 2016
Electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) have been steadily increasing in popularity among smokers, most of whom report using them to quit smoking. This study systematically reviews the current literature on the effectiveness of e-cigarettes as cessation aids. We searched PubMed, Medline, PsycINFO, CINAHL, ERIC, ROVER, Scopus, ISI Web of Science, Cochrane Library, the Ontario Tobacco Research Unit (OTRU) library catalogue and various grey literature sources. We included all English-language, empirical quantitative and qualitative papers that investigated primary cessation outcomes (smoking abstinence or reduction) or secondary outcomes (abstinence-related withdrawal symptoms and craving reductions) and were published on or before February 01, 2016.
Literature searches identified 2855 references. After removing duplicates and screening for eligibility, 62 relevant references were reviewed and appraised. In accordance with the GRADE system, the quality of the evidence in support of e-cigarettes' effectiveness in helping smokers quit was assessed as very low to low, and the evidence on smoking reduction was assessed as very low to moderate. The majority of included studies found that e-cigarettes, especially second-generation types, could alleviate smoking withdrawal symptoms and cravings in laboratory settings. While the majority of studies demonstrate a positive relationship between e-cigarette use and smoking cessation, the evidence remains inconclusive due to the low quality of the research published to date. Well-designed RCTs and longitudinal, population studies are needed to further elucidate the role of e-cigarettes in smoking cessation.

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