Smokers who want to quit tobacco have been given the opportunity to volunteer to take part in a clinical e-cigarette trial.
Funded by the British Heart Foundation, doctors and scientists in Scotland want 100 healthy smokers to take part in The Vapour Pilot Study.
The study will examine the short-term impact of e-cigs compared with other nicotine replacement therapies, such as patches, on the blood vessels and lungs.
Previous studies have found that e-cigarettes are the best method of quitting smoking. However, this test will provide further, and perhaps more conclusive evidence.
The reason for this is that participants will be randomly assigned to either e-cigs or nicotine replacement patches for 12 weeks so the doctors can conduct a thorough analysis.
To determine the results, doctors will examine blood and urine samples, blood pressure, lung functionality and will conduct a non-invasive blood vessel ultrasound. All of these examinations of the e-cig volunteers will take place both before and after the 12 weeks.
In addition, participants will receive smoking cessation support sessions at their local NHS hospitals.
Previously, a Scottish NHS hospital allowed e-cigarette use on its grounds.
“We all know that smoking tobacco raises our risk of suffering from cardiovascular disease. E-cigs have been hailed by some as a great way to help smokers quit but little is actually known about their impact on our heart and circulatory system, which is why we’re funding this research to help us better understand the effects on our health,” said James Cant, Director of the British Heart Foundation in Scotland.
Daniele Kerr, a vascular surgeon is running the test, and says everyday her and other medical personnel plead with smokers to quit, so it’s obviously a topic she cares for deeply.
“The evidence shows that the public currently choose to use electronic cigarettes as their preferred method to help them stop smoking, despite not being currently available on the NHS. This study has been designed to help healthcare professionals answer the question ‘what are the health effects of electronic cigarettes and should I use one to stop smoking?”