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A Randomized Trial of E-cigarettes: Natural Uptake, Patterns, and Impact of Use

Principal Investigator: Matthew J. Carpenter

Funding Mechanism: National Institutes of Health- Grant

ID Number: 1R21DA037407-01

Award Date: 7/25/2014

Institution: Medical University of South Carolina

Electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) are among the most popular non-cigarette products available, yet few studies provide details on patterns of consumer uptake or on the impact of e-cigarette use on smoking. The goal of this study is to gather detailed information on e-cigarette use and its impact on smoking behavior. Specific aims are: (1) to describe rates and patterns of e-cigarette uptake among smokers; and (2) to assess concurrent and downstream effects of e-cigarette use on smoking behavior. Researchers will conduct a pilot clinical trial in which 60 adult smokers aged 18 and older are randomized to either use e-cigarettes or not. Researchers will then evaluate a number of short-term outcomes (i.e., initial use, adoption, patterns of uptake, harm perceptions, biological indices of use including both carbon monoxide [CO] and cotinine levels) and longer-term outcomes (i.e., smoking reduction, quit attempts, abstinence, continued e-cigarette use/purchase, biological assessment of CO and cotinine levels) measured at three months. Research findings regarding how and why smokers initiate e-cigarette use and how such use affects smoking behavior may inform potential regulatory actions regarding e-cigarettes.

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