New UEA study hopes to help smokers quit

PICTURE POSED BY MODEL File photo dated 12/03/13 of a man lighting a cigarette, as a new report said

The University of East Anglia has set up a new smoking campaign - Credit: PA

Norwich researchers are developing a new study they hope will help people quit smoking. 

The University of East Anglia (UEA) is looking for participants who smoke tobacco and who have recently started using an e-cigarette within the last three months.

This forms part of an observational study launched on Tuesday which will see smokers use a small monitoring device which screws onto tank-based e-cigarettes.

The device will then build a personalised profile of the user's vaping patterns. 

A 90-day trial will also see participants take part in a short daily online survey about smoking, vaping, mood, stress, alcohol consumption and social support.

And it is hoped information collated from this study will help people to quit smoking in the future. 

UEA student positive coronavirus cases have halved in a week. Picture: Denise Bradley

The University of East Anglia has launched a new smoking study - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2019

Lead researcher Dr Emma Ward, from UEA's Norwich Medical School, said: "We know that smoking tobacco is much more harmful than vaping, and that people who switch from smoking cigarettes to vaping are more likely to remain smoke free.

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"Vaping is a harm reduction approach to quitting smoking, allowing users to cope with nicotine withdrawal by using nicotine in a less harmful way.

“We want to find out more about how dual use varies over time, and what factors help or hinder smokers in switching away from smoking tobacco to using to e-cigarettes."

The new technology being used for the study is said to be reliable as it works by precision measurement of the voltage applied to the atomiser through the duration of the puff.

It has been developed in partnership with Norwegian company VaipIO whose monitoring system will be used to develop artificial intelligence called Level to help people stop smoking.

Level learns how people vape and then uses that data to predict when a user may crave a nicotine hit. 

Dr Felix Naughton, from UEA’s School of Health Sciences and co-lead of the project, said: “We’re using a powerful scientific method to enable us to build a picture of each participant’s smoking and vaping behaviour.

"This gives us a rare view into how these behaviours fluctuate over time and what psychological, social and environmental factors influence this for each person.”