Do e-cigarettes help people quit smoking?
That’s one of the questions researchers at Moffitt Cancer Center hope to answer as they begin a nationwide study Monday.
Fabian Barrera started smoking when he was 18, but when he switched to e-cigarettes, he said he didn’t look back.
Now he not only vapes, but he sells e-cigarettes and hundreds of flavors for them at Vapor Rising in Tampa.
“The first day I got my e-cigarette was the last day I had a cigarette,” he said.
Dr. Thomas Brandon with Moffitt Cancer Center and Research Institute will spend the next two years studying to see how many people are like Fabian and have had made a successful switch.
“Some new studies out of England are suggesting that people do actually quit smoking when they take up vaping, but other research in the US is less clear about that,” said Brandon.
That’s why Moffitt is recruiting 2,500 people around the U.S. to paint a clearer picture.
According to another recent research project, e-cigarettes are also becoming more popular with teenagers.
Those researchers said e-cigarettes with flavors like banana split and cotton candy have tempted many kids who who never would have smoked to begin with.
“Depending on your perspective you can interpret that as good news, because they are presumingly using something less dangerous than smoking. On the other hand people are worried about the increase in e-cigarette use itself, and if that will lead to eventual cigarette smoking,” said Brandon.
Researchers want to be clear, this is not a study on the safety of e-cigarettes. They said there are many others handling that issue.
The study is funded by the National Institutes of Health.
The research will look into how cigarette smoking and e-cigarette “vaping” change over time in individuals.
Do they eventually quit smoking, or keep using both products? And do they continue using e-cigarettes or eventually quit vaping?
Those involved in the study will fill out a survey after three months for two years. They will be compensated.
For more information go to ProjectEASE.Moffitt.org or call 877-954-2548.