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NAQC Newsroom: Research

Electronic Cigarette use During a Randomized Trial of Interventions for Smoking Cessation Among Medi

Thursday, June 20, 2019  
Posted by: Natalia Gromov
Bianco CL, Pratt SI, Ferron JC, Brunette MF.
Electronic Cigarette use During a Randomized Trial of Interventions for Smoking Cessation Among Medicaid Beneficiaries with Mental Illness.
J Dual Diagn. 2019 Jun 6:1-8. doi: 10.1080/15504263.2019.1620400. [Epub ahead of print]
People with mental illness have high rates of cigarette smoking, but many wish to quit. Electronic cigarette (e-cigarette) use has become increasingly common, especially among smokers who wish to quit, but research on whether this facilitates quitting has been mixed, and little research has examined e-cigarette use among smokers with mental illness. This secondary analysis examined the associations between spontaneous e-cigarette use during cessation treatment and 6-month outcomes within a cessation trial among Medicaid beneficiaries with mental illness. Main outcomes were previously reported.  Adult Medicaid beneficiaries receiving mental health services were recruited between 2012 and 2015. Eligible daily smokers were randomized, using equipoise stratification, to one of six cessation treatment conditions (combinations of prescriber visit for pharmacotherapy, behavioral interventions, and abstinence incentives; e-cigarette use was not a recommended intervention). Presence of any self-reported e-cigarette use, all tobacco product use, quit attempts, and biologically verified abstinence were assessed at 3, 6, 9, and 12 months. The 456 participants who completed the 6-month assessment were included in logistic regressions, adjusting for subject characteristics and treatment condition, examining associations between self-reported, spontaneous e-cigarette use and 6-month outcomes. We evaluated three outcomes: biologically verified abstinence at 6 months, quit attempts over the treatment period, and heavy smoking (≥20 cigarettes per day) at 6 months.  Any use of e-cigarettes was reported by 192 participants (42.1%) during the treatment period. Use of pharmacotherapy was not different between those who used e-cigarettes and those who did not use e-cigarettes. A total of 13.5% of participants (n = 61) had achieved biologically verified abstinence at the 6-month assessment. E-cigarettes were not significantly associated with biologically verified abstinence, use of cessation pharmacotherapy, self-reported quit attempts, or heavy smoking at the 6-month assessment.  Spontaneous e-cigarette use during cessation treatment was common among smokers with mental illness and was not associated with positive or negative treatment outcomes. The high rate of naturalistic e-cigarette use in this group suggests that e-cigarettes are an appealing strategy to obtain nicotine during cessation treatment that could be harnessed as a smoking cessation tool or for harm reduction.


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