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Electronic cigarettes for smoking cessation and reduction

NZ Literature Abstract

posted by WM Admin on 18 December 2014


Hayden McRobbie
Chris Bullen
Jamie Hartmann-Boyce
Peter Hajek

Year of Publication



Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, 12, CD010216

Publication Type

Journal article (peer reviewed)

Publication Status



In this Cochrane review, the authors examine the efficacy of electronic cigarettes (EC) in helping people who smoke to achieve long-term abstinence, the efficacy of ECs in helping people reduce cigarette consumption by at least 50% of baseline levels, and the occurrence of adverse events associated with EC use. Thirteen studies were included (two RCTs, 11 cohort). "Participants using an EC were more likely to have abstained from smoking for at least six months compared with participants using placebo EC ... The one study that compared EC to nicotine patch found no significant difference in six-month abstinence rates, but the confidence intervals do not rule out a clinically important difference .... A higher number of people were able to reduce cigarette consumption by at least half with ECs compared with placebo ECs ... and compared with patch .... Unlike smoking cessation outcomes, reduction results were not biochemically verified". The authors note that the "... small number of trials, low event rates and wide confidence intervals around the estimates mean that our confidence in the result is rated 'low' by GRADE standards. The lack of difference between the effect of ECs compared with nicotine patches found in one trial is uncertain for similar reasons ... No evidence emerged that short-term EC use is associated with health risk".

Type of Study

Systematic review

How to Access

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