Cochrane Review Supports Nicotine Vaping For Quitting Smoking

The Cochrane TAG (Tobacco Addiction Group) have released a new update to their “Electronic Cigarettes for smoking cessation” review after scouring new vaping research.

In the “Background” section they state…

“Electronic cigarettes (ECs) are handheld electronic vaping devices which produce an aerosol by heating an e‐liquid. Some people who smoke use ECs to stop or reduce smoking, although some organizations, advocacy groups and policymakers have discouraged this, citing lack of evidence of efficacy and safety. People who smoke, healthcare providers and regulators want to know if ECs can help people quit smoking, and if they are safe to use for this purpose. This is a review update conducted as part of a living systematic review.”

They routinely update all their reviews by searching for new research on the topic.

This review used the following resources…

“We searched the Cochrane Tobacco Addiction Group’s Specialised Register, the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL), MEDLINE, Embase, and PsycINFO to 1 July 2022, and reference‐checked and contacted study authors. “

You can read the full PDF version of the review here – but I will summarise the main elements below.

Review Contents
The list of authors includes the vaping advocates Jamie Hartmann-Boyce and Nicola Lindson (Let’s talk E-cigarettes podcasts) being the top two names.

78 studies (all listed on the full PDF version) were utilised which represented 22,052 participants and 40 of these were RCT’s (Randomised Controlled Trials). 17 of these studies were new for this update.

These were then assessed as to whether there was a risk of bias – of which 10 were rated as a low risk of bias.

Review Findings
The phrase “high certainty” was used to state that quit rates were higher in people with randomised vapes with nicotine compared to NRT (Nicotine Replacement Therapy).

Apparently this relates to an additional 4 quitters per 100 smokers.

Also there was “moderate certainty” that quit rates were higher in those with nicotine vapes compared to non nicotine vapers. This relates to an additional 7 quitters per 100.

According to the authors they concluded…

“There is high‐certainty evidence that ECs with nicotine increase quit rates compared to NRT and moderate‐certainty evidence that they increase quit rates compared to ECs without nicotine. Evidence comparing nicotine EC with usual care/no treatment also suggests benefit, but is less certain. More studies are needed to confirm the effect size.”

The Cochrane reviews are ongoing and new research is added all the time – they state that further RCT’s are on the way so keep your eyes peeled for more updates!