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E-Cigarettes May Help Smokers With Schizophrenia Cut Tobacco Smoking

FRIDAY, March 19, 2021 -- High-strength nicotine electronic cigarettes have the potential to help people with schizophrenia spectrum disorders quit or reduce smoking, according to a study published online March 16 in Nicotine & Tobacco Research.

Pasquale Caponnetto, Ph.D., from the University of Catania in Italy, and colleagues assessed the feasibility of using a new-generation high-strength nicotine e-cigarette to modify smoking behavior in individuals with schizophrenia spectrum disorders who smoke cigarettes. Forty participants, with no intent to quit, were given a 12-week supply of a JUUL e-cigarette loaded with a 5 percent nicotine pod. Smoking cessation was evaluated at week 12.

Sixteen participants (40 percent) had quit smoking by the end of 12 weeks. Overall, the researchers observed a sustained 50 percent reduction in smoking or smoking abstinence in 37 of 40 participants (92.5 percent) and an overall 75 percent reduction in the median number of cigarettes smoked per day (from 25 to six).

"Considering that most people with schizophrenia spectrum disorders continue smoking, alternative and efficient interventions to reduce or prevent morbidity and mortality are urgently needed," the authors write.

PAX Labs provided free supplies of JUUL e-cigarette kits and pods.

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