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Flaws in inferences regarding relationship between e-cigarettes and cessation.

Posted by ZHerzig on 28 Nov 2014 at 03:13 GMT

Prochaska and Grana write that based on present findings taken together with other studies, "it appears that those who try EC are not more likely to reduce their tobacco cigarette consumption or increase their success with quitting."

However, several flaws exist in these inferences.

In the present study, participants who reported EC by the baseline or a follow-up survey were not significantly more abstinent from smoking by the latest survey (no indication as to whether EC measure refers to current' use).

Being that only smokers were recruited, EC use at the baseline inherently implies a history of resistance to treatment (i.e. EC use without cessation). On the other hand, for those who reported EC use only at a follow-up survey, EC use indicates the failure of the trial's cessation treatments to induce cessation prior to EC uptake.

Similar flaws relate to the inferences from the other studies referenced. In the study measuring EC use among smokers at enrollment, EC use inherently indicates resistance to treatment. In the studies measuring EC use at the endpoint, a negative correlation between EC use and cessation may likely be due to the fact that quitters are less likely take up EC use.

Zvi Herzig
Uvacharta Bachayim Institute

No competing interests declared.