A pilot randomized controlled trial of automated and counselor-delivered text messages for e-cigarette cessation

February 14, 2023

Tobacco Prevention And Cessation

E-cigarettes are currently the second most commonly used tobacco product among adults (3.7%; 9.1 million people) in the US. A growing body of evidence indicates that e-cigarettes deliver fewer harmful chemicals than traditional cigarettes and may support smoking cessation; thus, e-cigarettes may offer a harm reduction benefit for people who smoke cigarettes, provided they completely switch to using e-cigarettes. However, e-cigarettes pose independent health risks including nicotine addiction and lung and heart disease, and their long-term effects are unknown. Considering these risks, e-cigarettes are not recommended for adults who do not currently use tobacco products; nevertheless, use in this group has increased.

The majority (>60%) of adults who use e-cigarettes plan to quit. However, e-cigarette cessation intervention research has not kept pace with the demand for cessation assistance. The current evidence-base for e-cigarette cessation interventions is largely limited to youth and young adults, and consists of an observational study of treatment-seeking teens and young adults (n=27000); several clinical case reports; a single-arm pilot study (n=8); 2 pilot randomized controlled trials (RCT) (n=24; n=27); and one fully powered randomized controlled trial (RCT) of an automated text message vaping cessation intervention (n=2588). The fully powered RCT reported higher e-cigarette abstinence rates among young adults (18–24 years) randomized to the intervention than Control (24.1% vs 18.6%) at 7 months post randomization.

Read the full study in Tobacco Prevention and Cessation.