Research Needs Vapers

Posted 10th January 2019 by Dave Cross
The UK Centre for Tobacco & Alcohol Studies (UKTAS) has launched its e-cigarette Priority Setting Partnership survey, and Dr. Abby Hunter is asking for vapers for their opinions in identifying the top 10 unanswered questions for future research.

UKTAS writes: “Smoking is the leading cause of preventable death. Although not yet available on the NHS, electronic cigarettes are now the most popular aid to smoking cessation, with 37% of smokers using them for quit attempts, and approximately 2.6 million adults currently using them. However, as the popularity of electronic cigarettes have increased, so has the controversy associated with using them, and media scare stories may deter their use. The current evidence base is small and there is much we do not know.”

The new Public Health England report (McNeil et al., 2018) contains lots of research questions that need addressing, relating to policy, nicotine, use in young people, use in adults, the use on smoking cessation and harm reduction, risks, safety and health risks, and pricing.”

The survey aims to develop a Priority Setting Partnership between smokers/vapers and clinicians to identify and prioritise research questions relating to electronic cigarettes as a tool for smoking cessation and harm reduction.

The centre believes that, often, clinical research does not address the questions that are of greatest importance to patients, and their clinicians. The James Lind Alliance has developed methods for bringing patients and clinicians together to establish 'Priority Setting Partnerships (PSPs)’ that then identify and prioritise ‘uncertainties’, in order to inform publicly funded research.

“All top ten priorities for the PSPs will be published on the JLA website, thus ensuring wide availability to government, academics, clinicians, research commissioners and funders to inform policy and practice.”

Health psychologist Dr Hunter says: “Our e-cigarette Priority Setting Partnership survey has launched today! Have your say about what questions should be answered by research. We want to find out what the public want to know about ecigs.”

The shout-out isn’t confined to vapers; friends and families can take part too. The team say: “It doesn't matter if you are a smoker, vaper, dual user, or have never smoked in your life. We want ideas and questions about electronic cigarettes from people with different experiences and backgrounds.”

The survey takes approximately 5 minutes to complete and survey responses will be recorded anonymously. You can be assured that any personal contact information you supply will be kept separately – and doesn’t have to be provided if you’d prefer not to.

Resources:

UKTAS - https://ukctas.net/index.html

Electronic Cigarette Priority Setting Partnership - http://ukctas.net/featured-projects/ecig-psp

Dr Abby Hunter‏ on Twitter - @dr_abbyhunter

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