Adults who smoke conventional cigarettes are more likely to quit smoking successfully when they use electronic cigarettes rather than nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) as a quit aid, according to a randomised trial results publsihed in the New England Journal of Medicine.
Nearly 900 UK adults who were looking to stop smoking were randomised to use e-cigarettes or NRT beginning on their quit date.
The e-cigarette group was given a starter pack but could then use the product of their choice, while NRT participants could choose their preferred product. All participants also received at least four weekly sessions of behavioural support.
The primary outcome — the rate of abstinence at 1 year confirmed by carbon monoxide levels — favoured the e-cigarette group (18% vs. 9.9% in the NRT group).
The result has raised debate on rethinking the smoking cessation strategy to be prescribed.