A study into how e-cigarettes can help stop people relapsing after giving up smoking is looking for volunteers.
Researchers are calling for the help of people who have previously used e-cigarettes to give up smoking, in a bid to better understand their effectiveness and inform future ‘stop smoking’ initiatives.
The study, taking place at the University of East Anglia (UEA) Norwich Medical School and funded by Cancer Research UK, requires members of the public who have quit with the help of e-cigarettes and have either stayed stopped, or gone back to smoking.
Dr Caitlin Notley from UEA’s Norwich Medical School said: “Tobacco smoking remains the leading preventable cause of death worldwide, and up to two thirds of long-term smokers will die of a smoking-related disease.
“But the risk can be considerably reduced by stopping smoking, and staying stopped. We need the help of people who have used e-cigarettes, so that we can better understand how they might be used most effectively in the future.”
Amongst all quitters, 90 per cent of attempts to stop smoking end in relapse. In recent years e-cigarette use has boomed, and previous studies have shown many people use them to either cut down or stop smoking entirely. However, a recent survey showed up to 63 per cent of them went back to smoking.
Dr Notley said: “It appears that e-cigarettes have significant potential to aid smoking cessation, and recent evidence suggests they are as effective or more effective than nicotine replacement therapy. But we still know very little about people in the general population who quit smoking using an e-cigarette and their eventual relapse status. We need the help of the public to understand this better. Our ultimate aim is to develop guidance for health professionals so that they can advise people how best to use e cigarettes in the long term, if that is their choice, to stay stopped from smoking”
Volunteers will be interviewed by phone or in person about their experiences of using e-cigarettes for stopping smoking and, if they relapsed, about going back to smoking.
Volunteers can also take part in an online version of the interview if they would prefer.
Dr Notley said: “This study will provide much needed qualitative evidence on e-cigarette use in relation to smoking relapse. This is essential to inform future development of e-cigarette-based smoking relapse prevention interventions. Our findings will be important for policy and practice recommendations, in particular to Stop Smoking services about the best way to advise members of the public wishing to remain stopped from smoking with the assistance of e-cigarettes.”
James Wade, lead advisor at Smoke Free Norfolk, said: “Smokefree Norfolk would like to support those participants who want to quit smoking with the aid of E-Cigarettes. There is still benefit to having the behavioural support alongside the use of the E-Cigarette. So if any participants are attempting to stop smoking with the use of EC and would like support then please contact us on 0800 0854 113.”