Feasibility and acceptability of e-cigarettes as an aid to quitting smoking among lung cancer patients: a pilot study
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University of Stirling, Institute for Social Marketing, United Kingdom
UK Centre for Tobacco and Alcohol Studies, University of Stirling, United Kingdom
Beatson West of Scotland Cancer Centre, United Kingdom
New Nicotine Alliance, United Kingdom
Publication date: 2018-03-01
Tob. Induc. Dis. 2018;16(Suppl 1):A512
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Many patients diagnosed with lung cancer continue to smoke even though this can make their treatment less effective and increase side effects. E-cigarettes form part of the UK's tobacco harm reduction policy landscape and are, by far, smokers' most popular quit attempt method. This pilot study explores feasibility and acceptability of e-cigarettes to aid smoking cessation among lung cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy.

27 smokers with stage IV lung cancer were recruited from one NHS site in Scotland between May-16 and June-17. They were provided with a 2nd generation e-cigarette kit at a baseline home visit conducted by a researcher and a volunteer who was an experienced e-cigarette user. Participants were followed-up weekly for four weeks and at 16 weeks. Participants´ response to, and use of, e-cigarettes was explored along with cessation outcomes (self-reported and CO verified). In-depth qualitative interviews were conducted with health professionals (n=8) engaged with lung cancer patients to obtain their views on the study.

Overall, participants were motivated to stop smoking and took easily to using e-cigarettes. Minor issues arose around choice of flavour, and some side effects were noted, although participants reported difficulty in distinguishing these from treatment side effects. Seven participants were lost to follow-up. Preliminary findings show that at 4-week follow-up: average CO reading had reduced from 14 (range 3-37) to 8 (range 1-29), and 70% of participants reported daily e-cigarette use, however, use was dependent on individuals' day-to-day health. Health professionals interviewed were generally supportive of e-cigarettes as a tool for quitting, and suggested future efforts should concentrate on patients with curable cancer.

E-cigarettes have a potential role to play for lung cancer patients. Future smoking cessation research should take account of the impact of cancer treatment on emotional and physical health and explore e-cigarette use among patients with earlier stage lung cancer.

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