- FAMRI Center
More evidence that e-cigs are depressing quitting smoking in the real world
Erin Sutfin and colleagues at Wake Forest University just published “ The Impact of Trying Electronic Cigarettes on Cigarette Smoking by College Students: A Prospective Analysis” in American Journal of Public Health that adds to the evidence that e-cigarette use is depressing quitting smoking cigarettes.
This paper follows several hundred college students over 3 years during which time they assessed smoking behavior, how often respondents smoked (a measure of nicotine dependence) other tobacco use, and a variety of personality and demographic characteristics. Controlling for all these factors, the authors found that among young adults who were smoking at baseline, e-cigarette use was associated with higher likelihood of smoking at follow-up.
Here is the abstract:
Objectives. We assessed the impact of trying e-cigarettes on future cigarette smoking in a sample of college student smokers.
Methods. In this longitudinal study, first-semester college students at 7 colleges in North Carolina and 4 in Virginia completed a baseline survey and 5 follow-up surveys between fall 2010 and fall 2013. Current cigarette smoking at wave 6 was the primary outcome. Participants (n = 271) reported current cigarette smoking at baseline and no history of e-cigarette use. We measured trying e-cigarettes at each wave, defined as use in the past 6 months.
Results. By wave 5, 43.5% had tried e-cigarettes. Even after controlling for other variables associated with cigarette smoking, trying e-cigarettes was a significant predictor of cigarette smoking at wave 6 (adjusted odds ratio [AOR] = 2.48; 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.32, 4.66), as was friends’ cigarette smoking (AOR = 4.20; 95% CI = 2.22, 7.96) and lifetime use of other tobacco products (AOR = 1.63; 95% CI = 1.22, 2.17).
Conclusions. Trying e-cigarettes during college did not deter cigarette smoking and may have contributed to continued smoking. (Am J Public Health. Published online ahead of print June 11, 2015: e1–e7. doi:10.2105/AJPH.2015.302707)
Put in terms of the odds of quitting, use of e-cigarettes is associated with reduced quitting with an adjusted odds ratio of 0.40 (95% CI 0.21-0.76), consistent with the overall findings of the rest of the studies of the effects of e-cigarette use on quitting conventional cigarettes.
This is, of course, good news for the multinational cigarette companies, which are increasingly dominating the e-cigarette business.