Association of e-Cigarette Use With Discontinuation of Cigarette Smoking Among Adult Smokers Who Were Initially Never Planning to Quit | Lifestyle Behaviors | JAMA Network Open | JAMA Network
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    Original Investigation
    Public Health
    December 28, 2021

    Association of e-Cigarette Use With Discontinuation of Cigarette Smoking Among Adult Smokers Who Were Initially Never Planning to Quit

    Author Affiliations
    • 1Department of Health Behavior, Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center, Buffalo, New York
    • 2Westat Inc, Rockville, Maryland
    • 3National Institute on Drug Abuse, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland
    • 4Center for Tobacco Products Food and Drug Administration, Silver Spring, Maryland
    • 5Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston
    • 6New York University, New York
    • 7Kelly Government Solutions, Rockville, Maryland
    • 8Masonic Cancer Center, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis
    JAMA Netw Open. 2021;4(12):e2140880. doi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2021.40880
    Key Points

    Question  Is e-cigarette use associated with discontinuation of cigarette use among smokers initially not planning to ever quit?

    Findings  In this US nationally representative cohort study of 1600 adult daily cigarette smokers who did not initially use e-cigarettes and had no plans to ever quit smoking, subsequent daily e-cigarette use was significantly associated with an 8-fold greater odds of cigarette discontinuation compared with no e-cigarette use.

    Meaning  These findings call for consideration of smokers who are not planning to quit when evaluating the risk-benefit potential of e-cigarettes for smoking cessation in the population.


    Importance  Cigarette smokers not planning to quit are often overlooked in population studies evaluating the risk-benefit potential of electronic nicotine delivery products (e-cigarettes).

    Objective  To evaluate whether e-cigarette use is associated with discontinuing cigarette smoking among smokers who were initially never planning to quit.

    Design, Setting, and Participants  This cohort study used US nationally representative data from the longitudinal Population Assessment of Tobacco and Health Study (waves 2-5 conducted between October 2014 and November 2019), with participants evaluated in 3 pairs of interviews. Adult daily cigarette smokers initially not using e-cigarettes and with no plans to ever quit smoking for good (2489 observations from 1600 individuals) were included.

    Exposures  e-Cigarette use (ie, daily use, nondaily use, or no use) at follow-up interview among smokers not using e-cigarettes at baseline interview.

    Main Outcomes and Measures  The main outcomes were discontinuation of cigarette smoking (ie, no cigarette smoking) and discontinuation of daily cigarette smoking (ie, no daily cigarette smoking) at follow-up interview. Generalized estimating equations were used to evaluate the association between the exposure and each outcome, controlling for demographic characteristics and cigarettes smoked per day at baseline interview; all estimates were weighted.

    Results  The weighted population of adult daily cigarette smokers who were not using e-cigarettes and had no plans to ever quit smoking, based on data from 1600 participants, was 56.1% male (95% CI, 53.4%-58.7%), 10.1% Hispanic (95% CI, 8.2%-12.3%), 10.1% non-Hispanic Black (95% CI, 8.7%-11.7%), 75.6% non-Hispanic White (95% CI, 72.9%-78.2%), and 4.2% of other non-Hispanic race (95% CI, 3.3%-5.4%); 29.3% were aged 55 to 69 years (95% CI, 26.2%-32.6%), 8.9% were aged 70 years or older (95% CI, 6.8%-11.5%), 36.8% did not graduate from high school (95% CI, 34.1%-39.6%), 55.2% had an annual household income of less than $25 000 (95% CI, 52.3%-58.1%), 37.6% smoked 20 to 29 cigarettes per day (95% CI, 34.7%-40.6%), and 12.7% smoked 30 or more cigarettes per day (95% CI, 10.9%-14.7%). Overall, 6.2% of the population (95% CI, 5.0%-7.5%) discontinued cigarette smoking. Discontinuation rates were higher among those who used e-cigarettes daily (28.0%; 95% CI, 15.2%-45.9%) compared with not at all (5.8%; 95% CI, 4.7%-7.2%; adjusted odds ratio [aOR], 8.11; 95% CI, 3.14-20.97). Furthermore, 10.7% (95% CI, 9.1%-12.5%) discontinued daily cigarette smoking, with higher rates of discontinuation observed among those who used e-cigarettes daily (45.5%; 95% CI, 27.4%-64.9%) compared with not at all (9.9%; 95% CI, 8.2%-11.8%; aOR, 9.67; 95% CI, 4.02-23.25). Nondaily e-cigarette use was not associated with cigarette discontinuation (aOR, 0.53; 95% CI, 0.08-3.35) or daily cigarette discontinuation (aOR, 0.96; 95% CI, 0.44-2.09).

    Conclusions and Relevance  In this cohort study, daily e-cigarette use was associated with greater odds of cigarette discontinuation among smokers who initially had no plans to ever quit smoking. These findings support the consideration of smokers who are not planning to quit when evaluating the risk-benefit potential of e-cigarettes for smoking cessation in the population.