E-cigarette: An effective tool to quit smoking or an additional source of nicotine?
Miłosz Knura, , Tomasz Kurowski, Jakub Lubański, Paulina Majek, Mateusz Jankowski
Department of Epidemiology, Medical University of Silesia in Katowice, Poland

Aim: We sought to evaluate the effectiveness of e-cigarette use as a tool to quit or reduce smoking.

Introduction: The electronic cigarettes (known as an “e-cigarettes”) gaining on popularity, especially among young people. Available evidence regarding the relationship between e-cigarette usage as a tool in smoking cessation are inconsistent.

Methods: A population based survey was performed, in a group of 3800 students from three Universities in Katowice, Poland. Self-prepared, previously validated questionnaire, included questions on e-cigarette smoking habits.

Results: Completed questionnaires were obtained from 3000 students (response rate 78.9%; mean age=21.5±2.1yrs) of which 70% were female (F) and 30% were male (M). E-smoking was declared by 3.5% of respondents (F: 3%, M: 4.9%; p=0.01), wherein 1.5% of respondents smoked only e-cigarettes (F: 1.3%; M: 1.8%; p=0.3) and 2.4% of subjects were dual smokers (F: 1.6%; M: 3%; p=0.01). Almost one-third (33.7%) of e-smokers used e-cigarettes as an aid to quit smoking. Only 13.8% of e-smokers tired to give up e-smoking. Almost half of e-smokers (48.8%) tends to give up e-smoking in the nearest future. Reduction in cigarette consumption (mean 6.5±5.0 cigarettes/daily) was observed by 50.8% of dual smokers. Only 4.4% of e-smokers used e-cigarettes without nicotine. Since they started e-smoking, constant concentration of nicotine in e-liquid was indicated by 61.4% of e-smokers, 12.5% increased (mean 8.7±5.1mg/ml) and 26.1% reduced (mean 8.2±3.5mg/ml) nicotine content in usually used e-liquid. Among e-smokers, 48.8% reported an addiction to e-cigarettes.

Conclusion: Smoking cessation was not the main reason for e-cigarette use among most of e-smokers. Low percent of e-smokers who use a non-nicotine e-liquid and almost half of e-smokers who declared addiction to e-cigarette, suggests that e-cigarette is rather an additional source of nicotine than effective tool in smoking cessation.

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