Though e-cigarette use increased among smokers diagnosed with cancer, it did not lead to greater success with tobacco cessation, according to a study among cancer patients referred to a tobacco quit program.
The prospective cohort study of 1,074 cancer patients found the prevalence of e-cigarette use increased from 10.6% of participants enrolled in 2012 to 38.5% of patients in 2013, with 92% of e-cigarette users reporting dual use with traditional cigarettes.
At study entry, e-cigarette users were more nicotine dependent than were nonusers, had more prior quit attempts, and were more likely to be diagnosed with thoracic and head or neck cancers. Smoking cessation outcomes were collected from 414 patients, and after adjustment for nicotine dependence, number of past quit attempts, and cancer diagnosis, e-cigarette users were twice as likely to still be smoking at follow-up (odds ratio, 2.0; 95% confidence interval, 1.2-3.3; P less than .01), Sarah P. Borderud and her colleagues reported online Sept. 22 in Cancer [doi:10.1002/cncr.28811].
“Although we speculate that patients may be drawn to e-cigarette use for harm reduction, the findings of the current study provide no evidence to support oncologists recommending e-cigarette use among patients with cancer who are advised to quit smoking,” wrote Ms. Borderud, an epidemiologist at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, N.Y., and her colleagues.
No conflicts of interest were declared.