US Study Says Many Smokers Trying to Quit Wind Up Being Dual Users

Researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, have reported that a large number of smokers who try quitting cigarettes, wind up being dual users of cigarettes and vaping products.

While some smokers manage to successfully switch to vaping products, said the researchers, many just end up using both cigarettes and e-cigarettes. On the other hand, they added, smoking-cessation treatments including both NRTs and counseling may help such dual users quit.

“We recommend FDA-approved treatment such as nicotine replacement, the drug varenicline and counseling for cigarette smokers,” said lead study author Li-Shiun Chen, MD, an associate professor of psychiatry. “But we know that a growing number of people are using both cigarettes and e-cigarettes. The good news is that tobacco treatment still can help these people stop smoking and defeat their nicotine addition.”

Naturally, dual use use of e-cigarettes and cigarettes tends to be discouraged by tobacco harm reduction experts and vaping advocates alike, as the whole point of vaping is cutting down on cigarettes. On the other hand, some argue that those who engage in dual use are still smoking less cigarettes, therefore reducing harm.

Higher quit attempts among dual users
Another recent study titled, “Associations Between Dual Use of E-Cigarettes and Smoking Cessation: A Prospective Study of Smokers in England,” looked into this by analyzing the tobacco use behaviour within a cohort of 1,498 smokers in England.

The obtained results indicated that while dual use of e-cigarettes and cigarettes was not associated with reduced overall quit rates when compared to exclusive smoking or dual use of NRT, it was associated with a slightly higher quit attempt rate than exclusive smoking but lower than dual use of NRT.

“Overall quit rates were not lower in dual e-cigarette users than exclusive smokers (OR = 1.31, 0.90-1.89). Dual users of e-cigarettes were more likely than exclusive smokers to make a quit attempt, but this difference was not significant after adjustment for covariates (OR = 1.27, 95%CI 0.95-1.69). Among those attempting to quit, success rates did not differ significantly. Dual users of e-cigarettes were less likely to make a quit attempt than dual users of NRT (OR = 0.61, 95%CI 0.38-0.98) but the success rate of quit attempts and overall quit rates did not differ significantly,” read the study Abstract.