The H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center and Research Institute in Tampa (FL, USA) will launch a study funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The Project EASE (E-cigarette And Smoking Evaluation), aims at gathering data about the long-term use of e-cigarettes and their potential value for quitting smoking.
Long-term use of e-cigarettes and their potential value for quitting smoking
Moffitt announce they will enroll for 24 months 2,500 dual users in this study that will include sending surveys every three months. “We’re still in the early stages of research on these devices,” says Dr Thomas Brandon, Chair of the department of health outcomes and behavior and at the head of a research group dedicated to understanding and treating tobacco addiction, the TRIP (Tobacco Research and Intervention Program).
“Millions of smokers are using e-cigarettes to try to quit smoking,” Dr. Brandon says. “But because there is a lack of data, we are unable to advise them whether e-cigarettes actually present an effective smoking cessation strategy. We want to learn how e-cigarettes are used over time and whether users are eventually successful at quitting tobacco. We will be interviewing e-cigarette users to learn about their experiences and their perceptions of the pros and cons of e-cigarettes.”
Dr Brandon is convinced that “much of the advice regarding vaping is based on opinion and conjecture instead of evidence“. The new research effort is expected to provide valuable data about the long-term use of e-cigarettes and their potential value for quitting smoking. Do e-cigarettes help tobacco smokers to quit? Or do they make it easier to continue smoking tobacco? Are some smokers who are trying to quit “stuck” using both cigarettes and e-cigarettes?
Compared to the UK where the fact that e-cigarettes are helpful to quit or cut down on smoking seems to be assimilated by the scientific community, US research pains to admit the benefits of vaping. Recent data indicate that e-cigarette effectively helped US smokers quit the habit but anti-vaping advocates continue to peddle that vaping feeds a nicotine pandemic.
A wrestling match that costs million of public money among which Moffitt’s five-year $3.6 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to study e-cigarette use, understand patterns of use. Determining if they can be an effective tool for quitting traditional smoking is however at risk for the consumer and the vaping industry because if they are officially considered therapeutic devices, nothing will refrain the FDA from regulating e-cigarettes as drugs through a burdensome and more expensive pathway than the actual, already constraining, tobacco products one that decimates the professional independent sector.
Individuals who smoke and vape and are interested in participating in the study should visit ProjectEASE.Moffitt.org or call 1-877-954-2548.