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Tobacco smokers invited to participate in quit trial

Tobacco smokers invited to participate in quit trial

Auckland tobacco smokers are invited to take part in a trial to determine the effectiveness of e-cigarettes combined with nicotine patches and behavioural support, to help people quit smoking.

Researchers hope to recruit about 1800 participants from the Auckland region.
The trial of electronic cigarettes (commonly called e-cigarettes) and nicotine patches will be undertaken by researchers at the University of Auckland’s National Institute for Health Innovation.

“This study will be the largest trial of e-cigarettes for quitting conducted anywhere in the world,” says study co-investigator, Professor Chris Bullen. Dr Bullen led the team’s 2013 trial that tested an earlier type of e-cigarette, and found they were safe and as good as nicotine patches for quitting.

Lead researcher, Associate Professor Natalie Walker, says that the aim of the trial, funded by the Health Research Council, is to find out whether e-cigarettes (used either with or without nicotine) combined with nicotine patches and behavioural support can help people quit smoking.

E-cigarettes are electronic devices that let the user inhale nicotine with less harmful chemicals than found in tobacco smoke.

The devices contain water and propylene glycol (a non-toxic food additive, also used in asthma inhalers) or glycerol (vegetable oil). Nicotine can be added to this mixture.
When heated the liquid forms a mist and can be breathed in. The act of using an e-cigarette is called ‘vaping.’

The research team has been working closely with NZ VAPOR in Auckland to identify the best e-cigarette to test and have decided on one of the latest ‘tank’ style e-cigarettes.

Participants must be willing to be randomly allocated (‘like the toss of a coin’) to one of three groups: using nicotine patches alone, using nicotine patches and nicotine-free e-cigarettes or using nicotine patches and e-cigarettes containing nicotine.

People will be followed up by phone for six to 12 months to see how successful they have been at quitting.

Interested people who smoke, but want to quit, live in the Auckland region, are at least 18 years of age, and have access to a phone, can call 923-1751, email or go to to find out more about what the study involves.


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