Cochrane review on E-cigarettes

Chris Bullen

NIHI’s Director, Professor Chris Bullen, is a co-author of the prestigious Cochrane review on E-cigarettes (ECs) and their effect on quit rates which also includes two large trials led out of NIHI, one by Prof Bullen and the other by Assoc Professor Natalie Walker.

According to the review, there is moderate-certainty evidence that ECs with nicotine increase quit rates compared to ECs without nicotine, and compared to NRT. Evidence comparing nicotine EC with usual care/no treatment also suggests benefit, but is less certain.

Prof Bullen says that more studies are needed to confirm the degree of effect, particularly when using modern EC products. He says that the overall incidence of serious adverse events (SAEs) in the included studies was low, with no evidence of harm from nicotine EC. However, he cautions that the longest follow-up was two years and the overall number of studies was small.

The main limitation of the evidence base remains imprecision due to the small number of trials, often with low event rates. Further trials are underway and their results will be incorporated in future updates of the review.

You can read the full review here.