Effects of e-cigarettes versus nicotine replacement therapy on short-term smoking abstinence when delivered at a community pharmacy

Addict Behav Rep. 2019 Jul 3;10:100202. doi: 10.1016/j.abrep.2019.100202. eCollection 2019 Dec.

Abstract

E-cigarettes (EC) are now the most popular quit aid in England but their effectiveness for cessation if offered at a pharmacy has not been tested. Here we test the effectiveness of offering an e-cigarette with and without nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) on 4-6-week quit rates in adult smokers seeking support from a community pharmacy. A between subject, six-week, prospective, cohort design. 115 smokers (female = 74; M age = 46.37, SD = 13.56) chose either an EC, EC + NRT or NRT alone, alongside standard behavioural support. Smokers opting for an EC alone or an EC + NRT were more likely to report complete abstinence from smoking at 4-6 weeks (62.2% and 61.5% respectively) compared to NRT alone (34.8%). An EC intervention was significantly more effective for smoking cessation than NRT in this community pharmacy. The results for e-cigarettes appear positive but with the caveat that participants chose their own products which may have introduced bias.

Keywords: E-cigarettes; Nicotine replacement therapy; Pharmacy; Smoking cessation.