Here, we present results from a prospective pilot study that was aimed at surveying changes in daily cigarette consumption in smokers making their first purchase at vape shops. Modifications in products purchase were also noted.
Participants were instructed how to charge, fill, activate and use their e-cigarettes (e-cigs). Participants were encouraged to use these products in the anticipation of reducing the number of cig/day smoked.
Staff from LIAF contacted 10 vape shops in the province of the city of Catania (Italy) that acted as sponsors to the 2013 No Tobacco Day.
71 adult smokers (≥18 years old) making their first purchase at local participating vape shops were asked by professional retail staff to complete a form.
Their cigarette consumption was followed-up prospectively at 6 and 12 months. Details of products purchase (i.e., e-cigs hardware, e-liquid nicotine strengths and flavours) were also noted.
Retention rate was elevated, with 69% of participants attending their final follow-up visit. At 12 month, 40.8% subjects could be classified as quitters, 25.4% as reducers and 33.8% as failures. Switching from standard refillables (initial choice) to more advanced devices (MODs) was observed in this study (from 8.5% at baseline to 18.4% at 12 month) as well as a trend in decreasing thee-liquid nicotine strength, with more participants adopting low nicotine strength (from 49.3% at baseline to 57.1% at 12 month).
We have found that smokers purchasing e-cigarettes from vape shops with professional advice and support can achieve high success rates.