UW-CTRI Director of Clinical Services Dr. Doug Jorenby spoke at the longest continuously running cancer conference in America, the Southeastern Wisconsin Cancer Conference, about how providers can help their patients end tobacco use. At the Italian Community Center in downtown Milwaukee, Jorenby discussed a recent British study that compared vaping to nicotine-replacement medications as a treatment to quit smoking.
The study, by Dr. Peter Hajek and colleagues in real-world UK National Health Service clinics, showed that 18 percent of people who tried vaping as a way to quit smoking were successful at one year, twice that of those who tried the nicotine patch and similar aids. They also got coaching on how to quit. The trouble was, 80 percent of those who vaped to quit smoking were still vaping at the study’s conclusion. Only nine percent of those who quit smoking using nicotine replacement medications continued using the medications at the study’s end.
While research indicates that vaping is probably less dangerous than smoking, early research and anecdotal accounts indicate that it is not entirely safe. He pointed out that dual use of smoking and vaping is something to avoid, as any smoking creates serious cancer and other health risks. So the safest is to quit smoking entirely, he said.
Jorenby highlighted similarities and differences between the US Public Health Service Clinical Practice Guideline as the gold standard for treatment, the 5A’s of a tobacco intervention—Ask, Advise, Assist, Assess, Arrange—and the National Comprehensive Cancer Network treatment guildelines.