Electronic cigarette: does its use increase nicotine addiction?

Researchers at the Pennsylvania State Cancer Institute and the Center for Tobacco and Health Research are studying e-cigarettes and whether they can help nicotine users quit smoking or reduce their exposure to the toxic substances found in cigarettes.

Their latest study addressed a common question of whether initiation of e-cigarette use to reduce smoking could potentially increase nicotine addiction. The researchers recruited 520 participants who were interested in reducing their cigarette consumption, but had no intention or interest in quitting, and asked them to reduce their cigarette consumption during the six-month study. Participants were randomly assigned an e-cigarette delivering 36, 8, or 0 mg/ml of nicotine to assist them in their efforts to reduce cigarette consumption. The results suggest that the use of e-cigarettes to reduce cigarette consumption may result in a reduction in cigarette consumption and self-reported addiction.

It is also important to note that high strength e-cigarette use did not increase overall nicotine dependence and was associated with a greater reduction in cigarette consumption.

J. Yingst, & coll. Changes in Nicotine Dependence Among Smokers Using Electronic Cigarettes to Reduce Cigarette Smoking in a Randomized Controlled Trial. Nicotine & Tobacco Research, 2022; DOI: 10.1093/ntr/ntac153

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