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Home > The effect of e-cigarettes on smoking cessation and cigarette smoking initiation: an evidence-based rapid review and meta-analysis.

Zhang, Ying-Ying and Bu, Fan-Long and Dong, Fei and Wang, Jian-Hua and Zhu, Si-Jia and Zhang, Xiao-Wen and Robinson, Nicola and Liu, Jian-Ping (2021) The effect of e-cigarettes on smoking cessation and cigarette smoking initiation: an evidence-based rapid review and meta-analysis. Tobacco Induced Diseases, 19, (4), . doi:10.18332/tid/131624.

External website: http://www.tobaccoinduceddiseases.org/The-effect-o...


Introduction: The contribution made by e-cigarettes to smoking cessation continues to be controversial. Reports suggest that teenagers are becoming increasingly addicted to e-cigarettes and that e-cigarette use in adolescents is associated with subsequent cigarette smoking.

Methods: Systematic searches of eleven databases were conducted (January 2015 to June 2020). Systematic reviews, randomized controlled trials (RCTs) and cohort studies comparing e-cigarettes with placebo e-cigarettes, nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) or no e-cigarette use were included. The two primary outcomes were smoking cessation among smokers and smoking initiation among non-smoking teenagers. The secondary outcome was adverse events. Data were synthesized using risk ratio (RR) or adjusted odds ratio (AOR) with 95% confidence interval (CI).

Results: Six systematic reviews, 5 RCTs and 24 cohort studies were identified. For smoking cessation, findings from 4 systematic reviews indicated that e-cigarettes contributed to cessation while one found the opposite. Meta-analysis of 5 RCTs suggested that e-cigarettes were superior to NRT or placebo for smoking cessation (RR=1.55; 95% CI: 1.00–2.40; I2=57.6%; low certainty; 5 trials, n=4025). Evidence from 9 cohort studies showed that e-cigarette use was not associated with cessation (AOR=1.16; 95% CI: 0.88–1.54; I2=69.0%; n=22220). Subgroup analysis suggested that intensive e-cigarette use may be associated with cessation. In terms of smoking initiation, adolescents who ever used e-cigarettes had a greater risk for smoking initiation than non-users (AOR=2.91; 95% CI: 2.61–3.23; I2=61.0%; 15 trials, n=68943), the findings were consistent with one included systematic review. No serious adverse events were reported in the included studies.

Conclusions: Low certainty evidence suggests that e-cigarettes appear to be potentially effective for smoking cessation. The use of e-cigarettes in adolescents may be associated with smoking initiation. No serious adverse events were reported.

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