A total of 210 smokers aged 55 and above, who had smoked an average of 10 cigarettes for a minimum of 10 years were recruited. They were randomized into three groups, one given nicotine e-cigarettes, one given placebos (nicotine-free) and a control group given no e-cigarettes. All participants received a 3 month smoking cessation program that included a cognitive-behavioral program to support them in their efforts of changing their behaviour and increase their motivation to quit.
Vapers had a lower rate of exhaled CO
Data compiled via self-reported measures, clinical evaluations and the Leicester Cough Questionnaire, found that among participants who were still smoking at 6 months, there was a significant difference in the number of daily cigarettes smoked between the groups, with participants in the nicotine e-cigarette group smoking on average 11 cigarettes per day, compared to 14 in the nicotine free e-cigarette group and 13.5 in the control group.
Another group difference in those who were still smoking at 6 months, was a significant difference in exhaled CO between groups (p<0.025). Participants in the nicotine e-cigarette group had a mean exhaled CO of 12.0, vs 15.3 in the nicotine-free e-cigarette group and 16.5 in the control group. (A lower rate of exhaled CO is preferred from a health perspective).
E-cigs once again found effective for smoking cessation
Finally, there was also a significant difference in nicotine dependence between the groups (p<0.032). All participants had low-to moderate dependence at 6 months; smokers in the nicotine e-cigarette group had a mean core of 3.12, compared to 4.32 in the nicotine-free e-cigarette group and 3.59 in the control group.
“After 6 months about 20% of the entire sample stopped smoking. Participants who used e-cigarettes with nicotine smoked fewer tobacco cigarettes than any other group after 6 months (p < .020). Our data add to the efficacy and safety of e-cigarettes in helping smokers reduce tobacco consumption and improving pulmonary health status,” concluded the researchers.