Over twice as many patients with schizophrenia smoke than the average population.
Electronic cigarettes can help smokers with schizophrenia quit and improve their overall health and wellbeing, according to a new study.
Published in Nicotine and Tobacco Research by the Oxford University Press, the new research found that the use of high-strength nicotine e-cigarettes can help adults with schizophrenia spectrum disorders quit smoking.
Between 60-90% of patients with schizophrenia smoke cigarettes, compared to 15-24% of the general population.
In this study 40 adults with schizophrenia spectrum disorders who smoked and did not intend to reduce or quit smoking participated in a 12-week study using e-cigarettes loaded with 5% nicotine pods with a follow-up visit at 24 weeks
Researchers measured smoking frequency, smoking reduction, carbon monoxide expired air reduction, smoking cessation, and continuous abstinence 24 weeks after the study began.
Some 40% of participants had stopped smoking traditional cigarettes by the end of 12 weeks.
Researchers also observed an overall, sustained 50% reduction in smoking or complete smoking abstinence in 92.5% of participants at the end of 12 weeks.
After six months, 24 weeks after the study began, 35% of participants had completely stopped smoking conventional tobacco cigarettes, while continuing to use e-cigarettes.
Professor Riccardo Polosa, one of the studies authors and professor of Internal Medicine at the University of Catania, commented on the findings; “Smoking is the primary cause of the 15-25 years mortality gap between users of mental health services and the general population”.
“This study demonstrates that switching to high-strength nicotine e-cigarettes is a feasible highly effective smoking cessation method for smokers who have schizophrenia. And it improves their quality of life too!”