Combination nicotine replacement therapy with nicotine patches and e-cigarettes is known to have additive cessation benefits. However, the effects of the therapy have not been well studied. This study aims to evaluate the effectiveness of combination nicotine therapy with nicotine patches and e-cigarettes for smoking abstinence.
This three-arm, pragmatic, parallel-group trial included a total of 1,124 adult smokers who were e-cigarette naive and were willing to quit smoking. The participants were randomly assigned in a 1:4:4 ratio to receive 24h nicotine patches, patches plus nicotine e-cigarette, or patches plus a nicotine-free e-cigarette. The primary outcome of the study was exhaled carbon monoxide (CO)-verified smoking abstinence.
Fifty percent of the participants in the patches only group, 33% in the patches plus nicotine-free e-cigarette group, and 32% in the patches plus nicotine e-cigarette group withdrew or were lost to follow-up at 6 months. Seven percent of participants in the patches plus nicotine e-cigarette group had CO-verified abstinence at 6 months, as compared with 4% in the patches plus nicotine-free e-cigarette group and 2% in the patches-only group.
The research concluded that combination nicotine replacement therapy with nicotine patches and nicotine e-cigarettes led to a modest improvement in smoking abstinence.