Selecting an e-cigarette for use in smoking cessation interventions and healthcare services: Findings from patient and public consultation for the COSTED trial

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Objectives The Cessation of Smoking Trial in the Emergency Department (COSTED) trial aims to ascertain whether brief advice, the provision of an e-cigarette starter kit and referral to stop smoking services (SSS), increases smoking cessation in people attending the emergency department. Patient and public involvement (PPI) and scoping work were undertaken to select an appropriate e-cigarette for the trial.

Design and setting PPI consultation and feasibility scoping about potential devices with a professional and lay panel, all based in England. Consultation was via email, telephone or video interview. This work took place between April and July 2021, prior to recruitment commencing for the COSTED trial.

Participants A professional panel (n=7) including representatives from academia, SSS and the independent vaping industry, and a PPI lay panel (n=3) who smoke or vape.

Results The professional panel recommended a shortlist of devices which were tested by the PPI lay panel. Key criteria for selecting an appropriate e-cigarette for smoking cessation intervention include satisfaction, usability, affordability and availability. Simplicity of use was highlighted by the PPI lay panel, who found refillable devices complex, and availability of consumables was highlighted as more important than price by both panels. The pod device selected for inclusion was rated highly for satisfaction and usability and had mid-price range and consumables which were widely available.

Conclusions To select the most appropriate device for the COSTED trial, each criterion required assessment to ensure the best fit to the intervention context and needs of the target population. There is a need for guidance to help enable decision-making about choice of vape products, tailored to service users’ needs. We propose a bespoke checklist template, based on our findings, to assist with this process. This has applicability to the recent government announcement of a ‘Swap to Stop’ programme, offering a vaping starter kit to smokers across England, allowing services flexibility to shape their own programmes and models of delivery.

Trial registration number Clinical trial number NCT04854616; pre-results.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere078677
JournalBMJ Open
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 4 Mar 2024

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