Most of the 40 million Americans who smoke cigarettes say they want to quit, and some move to e-cigarettes as a step toward quitting. However, a growing number of such people become dual nicotine users: They smoke traditional cigarettes and vape e-cigarettes, researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have found.
Rather than discontinuing their addiction, many end up substantially increasing the amount of nicotine they consume. The good news, the researchers found, is that smoking-cessation treatments approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) that focus on nicotine replacement and counseling can help such dual users quit. In fact, such treatments seem to be effective in dual users as well as those who smoke traditional cigarettes exclusively.
The findings are available July 21 in the journal Thorax.
“We recommend FDA-approved treatment such as nicotine replacement, the drug varenicline and counseling for cigarette smokers,” said senior investigator Li-Shiun Chen, MD, an associate professor of psychiatry. “But we know that a growing number of people are using both cigarettes and e-cigarettes. The good news is that tobacco treatment still can help these people stop smoking and defeat their nicotine addition.”