Aims: Here, we present results from a prospective pilot study that was aimed at surveying changes in daily cigarette consumption in smokers making their first purchase at vape shops. Modifications in products purchase were also noted.
Design: Participants were instructed how to charge, fill, activate and use their e-cigarettes (e-cigs). Participants were encouraged to use these products in the anticipation of reducing the number of cig/day smoked.
Settings: Staff from LIAF contacted 10 vape shops in the province of the city of Catania (Italy) that acted as sponsors to the 2013 No Tobacco Day.
Participants: 71 adult smokers (≥18 years old) making their first purchase at local participating vape shops were asked by professional retail staff to complete a form.
Measurements: Their cigarette consumption was followed-up prospectively at 6 and 12 months. Details of products purchase (i.e., e-cigs hardware, e-liquid nicotine strengths and flavours) were also noted.
Findings: Retention rate was elevated, with 69% of participants attending their final follow-up visit. At 12 month, 40.8% subjects could be classified as quitters, 25.4% as reducers and 33.8% as failures. Switching from standard refillables (initial choice) to more advanced devices (MODs) was observed in this study (from 8.5% at baseline to 18.4% at 12 month) as well as a trend in decreasing thee-liquid nicotine strength, with more participants adopting low nicotine strength (from 49.3% at baseline to 57.1% at 12 month).
Conclusions: We have found that smokers purchasing e-cigarettes from vape shops with professional advice and support can achieve high success rates.