A trial comparing electronic cigarettes with nicotine replacement therapy to stop smoking (TEC)

Please note - this trial is no longer recruiting patients. We hope to add results when they are available.

Cancer type:

All cancer types

Status:

Closed

Phase:

Other

This trial is comparing electronic cigarettes with nicotine replacement therapy to help people stop smoking.  

Electronic cigarettes give a similar level of nicotine as nicotine replacement therapy. People who want to reduce the risks of smoking may choose to use electronic cigarettes because they copy the action of smoking, but are much safer than conventional cigarettes. The trial will determine whether this is as helpful as or more helpful than using nicotine replacement therapy.

More about this trial

One of the current treatments offered to people wishing to stop smoking is nicotine replacement therapy. This involves using a product, such as nicotine gum or a patch, to give nicotine.

Research has shown that electronic cigarettes can reduce the urge to smoke. What we don’t know is if electronic cigarettes are as good at helping people to quit smoking as current treatments, such as nicotine replacement therapy.

In this trial the researchers want to compare electronic cigarettes with nicotine replacement therapy. Half the people will use electronic cigarettes and the other half will use nicotine replacement therapy.

The aims of the trial are to

  • Find out if electronic cigarettes are as good as nicotine replacement therapy to help people quit smoking
  • Compare the side effects of both

Who can enter

You may be able to join this trial if you are a smoker who is willing to go to the clinic and are at least 18 years old.

You cannot join this trial if any of these apply. You

  • Are already using nicotine replacement therapy or electronic cigarettes
  • Have a strong preference to use, or not use, nicotine replacement therapy or electronic cigarettes
  • Are having treatment as part of another clinical trial Open a glossary item
  • Are pregnant or breastfeeding

Trial design

The researchers need 886 people to join.

It is a randomised trial. The people taking part are put into treatment groups by a computer. Neither you nor the researchers will be able to decide which group you are in.

  • People in one group will use electronic cigarettes
  • People in the other group will use nicotine replacement therapy

A member of the team will show you how to use the electronic cigarette or nicotine replacement therapy.

At the second visit researchers will give people using electronic cigarettes a starter kit and 2 weeks supply of refills. After this, people will need to buy the refills themselves.

At the second visit researchers will give people in the nicotine replacement therapy group an initial supply of their chosen nicotine replacement therapy. Additional supplies will be given as needed.

Hospital visits

A member of the team will see you in the clinic before you join the trial and then once a week for 5 weeks. They will ask you about your smoking, health and lifestyle. They will do a test to measure the amount of carbon monoxide in your breath as this shows how much smoke you inhale.

They will phone you 6 months and a year after starting the trial. They will ask you the same questions as at the start.

A year after starting, if you report that you have stopped smoking, or reduced the number of cigarettes you smoke by at least half, the team will ask you to come back to the clinic for another test to measure the amount of carbon monoxide in your breath.

Side effects

The most common side effects people have reported when using electronic cigarettes or nicotine replacement therapy include

  • Mouth irritation
  • Throat irritation
  • Feeling sick
  • Problems with sleeping

A member of the trial team will talk to you about the electronic cigarettes and nicotine replacement therapy before you agree to take part in the trial.

Recruitment start:

Recruitment end:

How to join a clinical trial

Please note: In order to join a trial you will need to discuss it with your doctor, unless otherwise specified.

Please note - unless we state otherwise in the summary, you need to talk to your doctor about joining a trial.

Chief Investigator

Professor Peter Hajek

Supported by

East Sussex Stop Smoking Service
Leicester Stop Smoking Service
NIHR Health Technology Assessment (HTA) programme
Queen Mary University of London

Questions about cancer? Contact our information nurses

Freephone 0808 800 4040

Last review date

CRUK internal database number:

13202

Please note - unless we state otherwise in the summary, you need to talk to your doctor about joining a trial.

Over 60,000 cancer patients enrolled on clinical trials in the UK last year.

Last reviewed:

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