TAMPA, Fla. – Electronic cigarettes, or e-cigarettes, are increasing in popularity. Most research has found that e-cigarette use is much safer than regular cigarette smoking, which kills nearly half a million Americans each year. In fact, smoking is responsible for nearly one-third of all cancer deaths. Physicians regularly advise patients to quit smoking, but quitting can be difficult. Many smokers have turned to e-cigarettes to try to help them quit, and research is starting to show that e-cigarettes may in fact help some smokers quit.  But what aspects of vaping make it useful as a smoking cessation aid, and how might e-cigarettes be improved in this regard? These questions are being studied by the Tobacco Research and Intervention Program at Moffitt Cancer Center.

Earlier this year, the findings from a major clinical trial, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, showed that e-cigarettes were almost twice as effective as the nicotine patch for producing one year of smoking cessation. These findings added to those of other, smaller studies previously published.  

“This could be a game-changer for lots of people,” says Thomas Brandon, Ph.D., director of Moffitt’s Tobacco Research and Intervention Program and chair of the Department of Health Outcomes and Behavior. “It means that for smokers who have not been able to quit by using the available medications, vaping might be worth a try. But it is important to completely switch from smoking to vaping to get the most health benefits.”

Researchers at Moffitt are trying to determine what characteristics of vaping make it easier to make the complete switch from smoking. For example, is it the type of e-cigarette, the flavors or the way the smoker uses the e-cigarette? For this study, Moffitt is currently seeking people who both vape and smoke.  The study, which lasts about 90 minutes, involves providing feedback after a vaping session.

Those who smoke cigarettes and vape an e-cigarette can call 813-745-7880 for more information about the study.

About Moffitt Cancer Center
Moffitt is dedicated to one lifesaving mission: to contribute to the prevention and cure of cancer. The Tampa-based facility is one of only 50 National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Centers, a distinction that recognizes Moffitt’s scientific excellence, multidisciplinary research, and robust training and education. Moffitt is a Top 10 cancer hospital and has been nationally ranked by U.S. News & World Report since 1999. Moffitt devotes more than 2 million square feet to research and patient care. Moffitt’s expert nursing staff is recognized by the American Nurses Credentialing Center with Magnet® status, its highest distinction. With more than 6,000 team members, Moffitt has an economic impact in the state of $2.5 billion. For more information, call 1-888-MOFFITT (1-888-663-3488), visit MOFFITT.org, and follow the momentum on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.