Participants Needed to Assess Effects of E-Cigarettes

26th May 2017

Smokers who are planning to kick the habit are being given the chance to be involved in a cardiovascular research project led by Sheffield Hallam University.

Researchers in the University's Centre for Sport and Exercise Science are looking for more than 250 recruits to take part in a study that will look at the benefits and risks of using e-cigarettes to stop smoking. Funded by Heart Research UK, successful recruits will have their progress monitored over a six-month period. They will be split into three groups one using nicotine rich e-cigarettes, another will be given nicotine-free e-cigarettes and the third group will be provided with nicotine replacement therapy from Sheffield's stop smoking services. The research team will measure the participants' cholesterol levels, their nicotine dependence as well as the amount of carbon monoxide in their breath and they will also assess the functioning of the small arteries and veins. To take part in the study, participants must be willing to give up smoking and be prepared to follow their assigned programme. They will be asked to attend four assessment sessions at the University's Collegiate campus during the six-month period. Smokers that are pregnant, are expecting to have surgery or have insulin-controlled diabetes, will not be considered for the study. E-cigarette participants will be provided with free supplies for three months, an e-cigarette starting kit and regular behavioural change support by the research team. Participants using the stop smoking services will receive the cost of a three-month NHS prescription certificate, irrespective of whether they currently pay for their prescriptions. Dr Markos Klonizakis, who is leading the study, said: "Everyone is aware that smoking is bad for your health and is one of the main causes of cardiovascular disease. Cigarette smoke contains about 9000 different chemicals and that's why smokers should be encouraged to stop, not just for their own benefit but for the benefit of their families and the public purse. "Around 2.8 million people in the UK are using e-cigarettes as way of stopping smoking or as an alternative to traditional smoking but our knowledge of their effects on the small veins and arteries of regular smokers is largely unknown. Our study will aim to bridge this knowledge gap, by providing unbiased, well-supported evidence."

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