Moffitt launches nationwide e-cigarette study

AP file photo

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Nicknamed Project EASE, short for “E-Cigarette And Cigarette Evaluation,” researchers at Moffitt Cancer Center will study 2,500 people for the next two years to determine the long-term impact that e-cigarette use has on traditional cigarette use.

Folks will try just about anything to finally kick smoking traditional cigarettes in the butt, like Bill Henry, who has been smoking for most of his life.

“I’ve been smoking since I was 19,” said Henry. “Hard is not the word, virtually impossible, I would say. I’ve tried to quit, I think many smokers have, many number of times.”

RELATED: Teens turning to e-cigarettes to smoke pot

Could e-cigarettes really help people stop sparking up? That’s exactly what Moffitt researchers want to find out.

“We have learned from individuals who have used multiple substances, including heroin, that nicotine is cited as the most difficult one to give up,” said Moffitt Cancer Center’s Vani Nath Simmons.

RELATED: E-cigarette explodes in man’s pocket, setting pants on fire

The study is not about the safety of e-cigarettes. Rather, it is targeted at people using both traditional and e-cigarettes to see how their use changes over time.

“We don’t know if [e-cigarettes] are safe. We can say that it is very unlikely that they are as harmful as regular tobacco cigarettes because you aren’t being exposed to the tar and the cancer-causing chemicals,” said Simmons. “We are interested in learning, do e-cigarettes actually help people quit smoking? Or alternatively, do those individuals use both products over time?”

RELATED: E-cigarette poisonings surge in young children, study say

Vaping skyrocketed in popularity so fast that medical research has yet to catch up. With this new study, Moffitt hopes to answer some questions, leading people on the path of wellness.

People who smoke and vape who are interested in learning more about participating in the nationwide study can visit ProjectEASE.Moffitt.org or call 1-877-954-2548.

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