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Study: E-cigs show poor cessation results for cancer patients

September 23, 2014
by Gary A. Enos, Editor
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A study published in the American Cancer Society's peer-reviewed journal is suggesting that electronic cigarettes are failing to have a significant impact on smoking quit rates for cancer patients.

An article published online this week in CANCER examined results from a study of more than 1,000 tobacco-using cancer patients who were enrolled in a cancer center's smoking cessation program between 2012 and 2013. The researchers from Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center found that the prevalence of e-cigarette use in this group tripled from 2012 to 2013, and that e-cigarette users were more nicotine-dependent than non-users.

Moreover, seven-day abstinence rates were nearly the same for e-cigarette users and non-users (44.4% vs. 43.1%, respectively).

While stating that controlled research is needed to evaluate e-cigarettes' effects in more detail, lead researcher Jamie Ostroff, PhD, said, “In the meantime, oncologists should advise all smokers to quit smoking traditional combustible cigarettes, encourage use of FDA-approved cessation medications, refer patients for smoking cessation counseling, and provide education about the potential risks and lack of known benefits of long-term e-cigarette use.”