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Electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) contain refined nicotine dissolved in propylene glycol, glycerine or other humectants, which is vaporised with a battery-powered heating element, activated by suction or manually, and delivered into the airways.1 E-cigarettes have been shown to reduce craving and withdrawal symptoms in abstinent smokers and, as nicotine is delivered without tobacco combustion, are thought to be substantially safer than cigarettes.2 While e-cigarette use is rapidly increasing, relatively little is known about their efficacy for smoking cessation, particularly compared with established nicotine-containing pharmacological aids.3
A randomised controlled trial to assess the effectiveness of e-cigarettes was carried out in New Zealand. Adult participants were block-randomised (stratified by ethnicity, dependence and sex) to one of three …
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