Researchers in New Zealand has embarked on a big research project, looking at the effects of e-cigarettes in the real world with regards to quitting smoking.
Dr Natalie Walker, associate director at National Institute for Health tobacco and addictions programme in New Zealand, is lead on this e-cigarettes study.
E-cigarettes have been widely available since the early 2000s, yet there’s very little known about it.
The study will be the biggest of its kind, ever. Twelve hundred people from all over New Zealand will be given e-cigarettes or nicotine patches – or a combination – for a total of six months.
Participants who are given e-cigarettes will be able to choose between nicotine and non-nicotine e-liquids, both tobacco flavoured however.
Some people will continue to smoke tobacco throughout the study, which is more aligned with what happens in the “real world”. In fact, there are no restrictions to any of the participants, as the team wants to observe every possible outcome in “real life”.
The findings will go into the Cochrane Reviews which is a data base of pooled finding on health. This makes it easier for doctors to make informative decisions.
Right now, e-cigarettes can’t be marketed as “smoking cessation” devices due to the lack of evidence about its benefits. An online document from the Ministry of Health on New Zealand, it’s said that “the potential for devices to improve public health depends on the extent to which the devices can be used to help people quit smoking, without encouraging children and non-smokers to take up the habit.”
Dr Walker and her team hopes to prove that e-cigarettes are effective smoking cessation devices.
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