12 Oct

Upcoming Australian Research into Electronic Cigarettes is Looking for Participants: Can You Help?

In March it was reported in The Sydney Morning Herald that a trial into the efficacy of electronic cigarettes as a quit smoking tool will be conducted by researchers at the University of Queensland later in the year. The research will be funded by a Commonwealth government grant and it is hoped that 1600 participants can be recruited. The head of the research is Dr Carol Gartner, a research fellow at the Centre for Clinical Research at the University of Queensland. In response to questions as to whether she thought that e-cigarettes should be banned, Dr Gartner replied that rather then being banned, they should be regulated, since there are differences in the quality of the various devices on the market. Regarding the potential of electronic cigarettes to help people quit smoking, she said that “If a large enough proportion of the smoking population find them to be an acceptable substitute, it might be possible to encourage smokers to move to e-cigarettes with the longer-term aim of phasing out conventional cigarettes, which are the most harmful nicotine product and kill half of all long-term users” (Asher Moses, “Experts wary of e-cigarettes as test run looms”, The Sydney Morning Herald, 4 March 2013).

We recently received an email from Doug Fraser, who is a research assistant at the University of Queensland Centre for Clinical Research, asking us for help to recruit volunteers for the upcoming study. The email reads:

“The University of Queensland and the Australian National University are currently planning to conduct research looking at the experiences and opinions of people who have used electronic cigarettes. At the moment we are gathering interest from people who would be willing to participate in an online survey later in the year. Researchers at the University of Queensland and Australian National University would like to conduct research with people who use electronic cigarettes or other novel nicotine delivery systems to better understand their experiences with these products. If you have used an electronic cigarette or similar product and are interested in participating in research on this topic, please follow the URL link to a confidential online form to register your interest by providing your contact details (e.g. email address). When a research study on this topic is ready to start, the researchers will then send you an invitation with more details about the study so that you can decide if you would like to participate in the study. Your contact details will not be shared with anyone else and will not be used for any purpose other than to send you invitations to participate in research on this topic.”

We are very happy to hear that research will be conducted into e-cigarettes here in Australia by researchers at such a prestigious institution as the University of Queensland. We strongly urge all of you to sign up to participate in the study, which can be done clicking on the following link:

http://hs-web01.health.uq.edu.au/survey/index.php?sid=34348&lang=en

If you have any questions about the research, you can contact Doug Fraser at d.fraser2@uq.edu.au