Help UCL Research

Posted 26th November 2019 by Dave Cross
Researchers at University College London (UCL) are looking for people to help with a new project involving nicotine, e-cigarettes and heated tobacco products. Sceptics can be assured that the research will place emphasis on scientific rigour as the principal investigator is Dr Lion Shahab.

Dr Shahab has extensive expertise in the field of tobacco control and is trained in epidemiology, neuroscience and health psychology. He has worked on numerous studies looking at the impact of vaping and frequently provides comment debunking some of the flawed studies originating from America.

This latest study aims to compare the possible health effects of using nicotine and tobacco-containing products such as e-cigarettes and heated tobacco (i.e. iQOS) when compared to smoking conventional cigarettes. To do this, the research team wants to assess what potentially harmful chemicals enter the bodies of people using these products compared with those not using these products.

The reason for the research is that only tobacco industry data currently exists in this area, and no studies have yet compared exposure in humans using either e-cigarettes or heated tobacco products. The objective is to provide independent data that is needed to inform users, regulators, and health professionals in the UK about these new, harm-reducing, non-combustible nicotine delivery systems.

If you would like to take part:

  1. Complete the screening survey linked below
  2. You will be emailed with more information and asked to schedule a visit to UCL
  3. Before the session, you will be asked not to use any nicotine/tobacco products, eat food, drink alcohol or use the toilet from 1 hour before the visit
  4. At the session, the researchers will ask to take your heart rate, breath measurements, and ask you to provide a urine sample
  5. You will be asked to complete a questionnaire about yourself, your health and smoking/nicotine use behaviour
  6. If you vape or use a heat-not-burn device, you will be asked to use your own product for 5 mins outside and then repeat the heart/breath measurements and a further questionnaire
  7. This will be the end of the study

Why take part?

Firstly, you will be helping a respected team produce quality data that will broaden our understanding of the relative safety of vaping and HNB products. Also, everybody taking part will receive their personalised health data (once it has been analysed) if requested.


Also, all participants will receive up to £5 towards travel expenses and a £40 Amazon gift voucher.

If you have further questions about the study, you can contact Humairah Arshad by email.


  • UCL screening survey – [link]
  • Humairah Arshad by email - [link]

 Dave Cross
Article by Dave Cross
Freelance writer, physicist, karateka, dog walker