Electronic nicotine devices to aid smoking cessation by alcohol- and drug-dependent clients: Protocol for a pilot randomised controlled trial

Ashleigh Guillaumier, Victoria Manning, Olivia Wynne, Coral Gartner, Ron Borland, Amanda L. Baker, Catherine J. Segan, Eliza Skelton, Lyndell Moore, Ramez Bathish, Dan I. Lubman, Billie Bonevski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)
243 Downloads (Pure)


Background: Up to 95% of people entering treatment for use of alcohol or other drugs (AOD) smoke tobacco. Smokers receiving treatment for AOD use are interested in quitting and make quit attempts, but relapse is more common and rapid compared with the general population of smokers. New ways to address smoking in this population are needed. Electronic nicotine devices (ENDs) or electronic cigarettes hold significant potential as both cessation aids and harm reduction support. This study focuses on the potential of ENDs to facilitate smoking cessation and to sustain it in the medium term among people in treatment for AOD use. The aim of this trial is to explore the effectiveness, feasibility and acceptability of ENDs for smoking cessation compared with combination nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) for clients after discharge from a smoke-free AOD residential withdrawal service. Methods/design: The study is a pragmatic randomised controlled trial. In total, 100 participants will be recruited following admission to a smoke-free residential withdrawal service in Melbourne, Australia. Participants will complete a baseline survey and be randomised to either the END group (n=50) or the NRT group (n=50) prior to discharge. Both groups will receive telephone counselling support from quitline. Follow-up measures will be assessed at 6 and 12weeks following discharge. The primary outcome is continuous abstinence from smoking at 12weeks post discharge. Secondary outcomes include: 7-day point prevalence from smoking, point prevalence abstinence from all nicotine (including NRT and ENDs), cravings and withdrawal, time to relapse, and treatment adherence (use of NRT, ENDs and quitline). Discussion: This is the first randomised controlled trial to assess the effectiveness and acceptability of ENDs within a population dependent on AOD, a priority group with very high levels of smoking. The research will test a model of how to incorporate novel smoking cessation support into a period of high treatment receptiveness.

Original languageEnglish
Article number415
Number of pages11
Publication statusPublished - 2 Aug 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Alcohol and other drugs
  • Electronic cigarettes
  • Nicotine replacement therapy
  • Smoking cessation


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