A new study has emerged evaluating the medical impact of electronic cigarettes. And, Dr. Oncken is looking for both men and women, between the ages of 18-55, who smoke at least 10 cigarettes a day, for this short-term study. Menthol and non-menthol smokers.
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“I wanted to try it because I heard it was better for you,” Carrie Castro said.
Castro, who has been a smoker since she was a teenager, has tried quitting twice before.
“I have a chronic cough,” Castro said. “My lungs are definitely taking a beating. I can feel it.”
She’s taking part in an e-cigarette study at UConn Health Center, which Dr. Cheryl Oncken heads up.
“I noticed that a lot of my patients had been trying e-cigarettes to quit,” said Dr. Oncken.
With very little information available, Dr. Oncken has begun the much needed research.
“There’s not enough data to evaluate the safety,” Dr. Oncken said. “What are the nicotine levels compared to smoking? What are the effects on pulmonary function?”
Participants like Castro are seeing some benefits.
“I had no side effects, my cough pretty much diminished,” said Castro. “It does definitely satisfy your cravings.”
Dr. Oncken expects the study will clarify unanswered questions.
“Do nicotine levels increase when people use them and how does that compare with smoking,” questioned Dr. Oncken.
Also, how does flavor affect how people use e-cigs? Already, preliminary findings are leading to this observation.
“I think we will probably find an increase in nicotine concentration with the electronic cigarette,” Dr. Oncken said.
Meanwhile, Castro hasn’t given up on finally kicking the habit.
“Almost stopped,” she said. “I’m almost there. I’m hopeful.”
If you would like to participate in the study or want more information on it, call (860) 679-3136