Lipkus Submits NIH R21 Application

Kudos to Isaac Lipkus, professor, and his entire team for the submission of their NIH R21 application entitled "Exploring Feasibility and Patterns of Electronic Cigarette Use Among Dual Smoking Couples." This proposal requests funding for a two-year period with a start date of April 1, 2020.

Up to three-quarters of cigarette smokers partner with other smokers. These dual-smoker couples have lower quit and higher relapse rates; thus, both partners face smoking-related risks from inhaling toxicants from their own cigarettes as well as secondhand smoke. A way to reduce cigarette-related health risks is to switch to less harmful nicotine delivery products, such as electronic cigarettes (e-cigs). Completely switching from combustible tobacco cigarettes to e-cigs (i.e, vaping) reduces intake of toxicants. Yet, among dual-smoker couples feasibility data are lacking on promoting exclusive e-cig use. This study proposes formative research to address this issue and explore predictors of 1) adhering to completely switching from smoking to vaping (i.e. “switch day”); and 2) duration of vaping only.

The two primary aims are to explore: 1) feasibility issues for a future randomized controlled trial (RCT), and 2) theinter/intrapersonal, and contextual factors as predictors of ever switched on switch day (no/yes) and duration of vaping only at the couple (i.e., partner effects) and individual (i.e., actor effects) level of analysis based on the Actor-Partner Interdependence Model. This is the first step of implementing a harm reduction strategy for dual-smoker couples. To this end, findings will provide insights into the viability of promoting vaping only for dual-smoker couples who, due to lack of motivation and/or hardships in quitting and staying quit, can benefit from a less harmful product.

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