UKECRF E-cig Research

Posted 20th April 2021 by Dave Cross
The UK E-Cigarette Research Forum (UKECRF) is an initiative developed by Cancer Research UK in partnership with Public Health England (PHE) and the UK Centre for Tobacco and Alcohol Studies (UKCTAS). Among other things, it brings together genuine experts to look at research related to vaping and tobacco harm reduction.

The UKECRF [link] provides monthly updates aiming giving an overview of new vape. They are aimed at researchers, policy makers, health professionals and anyone else with an interest in tobacco harm reduction. The authors point out that the studies they present are but a snapshot of all the papers published over the last month.

Do the associations between the use of electronic cigarettes and smoking reduction or cessation attempt persist after several years of use? [link]

The French team examined whether the time spent vaping could be associated with smoking reduction or a smoking cessation attempt.

They concluded that e-cigarette use was associated with smoking reduction and cessation attempt for individuals who have used them for less than a year. They anticipate that greater benefits “are expected to occur with a longer duration of use.”

UKECRF noted: “All current e-cigarettes users, regardless of length of time of use, and including those who started using them again after a period of discontinuation, had an increased likelihood of reducing the number of cigarettes smoked per day compared with those who had never used e-cigarettes.”

It added that this was an observational study and motives for e-cigarette use were not recorded. Also, the cohort is not representative of the general population.


The time course of compensatory puffing with an electronic cigarette [link]

The research team included Dr Sharon Cox of University College London and London South Bank University’s Lynne Dawkins. They conducted a secondary analysis of their published data demonstrating compensatory vaping behaviour – when vapers vape more to make up for insufficient nicotine delivery due to weak liquid or poor quality equipment.

They concluded: “Under fixed power conditions (4.0V/10W), vapers appear to compensate for poor nicotine delivery by taking longer puffs and this compensatory puffing appears to be maintained over time.”

UKECRF noted: “This study only included a relatively small sample of experienced and exclusive e-cigarette users. This sample may not be representative of all e-cigarette users.

“Participants in this study had to switch between the four conditions consecutively. This may not represent transitions in real life, nor be applicable to more gradual transitions or longer-term use.”

User pathways of e-cigarette use to support long term tobacco smoking relapse prevention [link]

Caitlin Notley, Emma Ward, Lynne Dawkins, and Richard Holland looked at whether long-term e-cig use sustained a concurrent smoking habit or increased a likelihood to relapse back to smoking. They concluded from their sample of UK vapers that long-term vaping was perceived to be helpful in preventing a relapse back to using cigarettes.


UKECRF noted that the sample was “predominantly younger, white and had higher socioeconomic status” and therefore “may not be generalisable to the wider population”.

Other studies this month:

Patterns of use




Harms and harm reduction


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