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Recruiting for clinical study of e-cigarettes as a tool to help smokers quit

Despite their best efforts, only 10 to 20% of smokers successfully quit long-term. A new clinical trial seeks to determine whether electronic cigarettes can improve those odds.

Montreal, December 5, 2016 – Despite the well-established risks of smoking, it continues to contribute to the death of more than 37,000 Canadians annually. Moreover, only 10 to 20% of smokers will succeed in quitting using current cessation therapies, including nicotine patches, gum, and counselling. The search for novel techniques prompted a new multi-centre clinical study of the effectiveness and safety of electronic cigarettes, which is being led by Dr. Mark Eisenberg at the Jewish General Hospital (JGH).

“The single most reversible cause of mortality in Canada is smoking,” emphasizes Dr. Eisenberg, a cardiologist and epidemiologist at the Lady Davis Institute at the JGH. “The goal of our study is to determine whether e-cigarettes can be used as a transitional tool from smoking conventional cigarettes to quitting completely.”

Participants over the age of 18 who have smoked at least ten cigarettes a day for more than a year and who are motivated to quit are being recruited. Investigators hope to involve 486 people. They will be randomized into one of three groups: nicotine e-cigarettes with individual counselling; non-nicotine e-cigarettes with individual counselling; or individual counselling alone. The treatment period will be twelve weeks, with follow-up for a year to evaluate whether the participants maintain abstinence, and their experience of withdrawal symptoms and side effects.

“Ultimately, multiple trials in multiple populations will be necessary to establish the efficacy of e-cigarettes,” said Dr. Eisenberg, “but ours is a significant first step.”

At the moment, neither Health Canada, nor the US Food and Drug Administration have guidelines concerning e-cigarettes. This trial will provide regulators, health care professionals, and smokers with important information about the efficacy and safety of e-cigarettes for smoking cessation.

For further information about the clinical trial, contact Andrea Hebert-Losier, E3 Trial Coordinator, 514-340-8222, ext. 23240 or

To arrange interviews with Dr. Eisenberg, contact:

Tod Hoffman
Research Communications Officer
Lady Davis Institute at the Jewish General Hospital
Office: 514-340-8222, ext. 8661

For further information about the Lady Davis Institute, visit http:

For further information about the Jewish General Hospital, visit