Tobacco & Addictions

Tobacco & Addictions Research

Tobacco smoking is one of the greatest modifiable risks to health worldwide. Each year millions of people die prematurely as a result of tobacco smoke exposure. Most smokers want to quit and many try each year. However, the chances of long-term cessation are low, especially for highly dependent smokers. In an effort to help more smokers achieve the goal of quitting for life, the Addiction Research theme investigates novel approaches to supporting people to change their behaviour. These studies test the effectiveness of novel delivery systems, variations of delivery of standard treatments, or novel treatments.

 

Our current research highlights

ASCEND-II

A randomised-controlled clinical trial designed to evaluate the effectiveness, utilisation and safety of combining nicotine patches with e-cigarettes (with and without nicotine) plus moderate intensity behavioural support, on six month smoking abstinence, in smokers motivated to quit.

1,809 participants are being recruited from the Auckland region of New Zealand and randomly allocated to one of three groups:

- 21mg nicotine patch daily, or
- 21mg nicotine patch daily plus a ‘new generation’ cartomiser e-cigarettes with no nicotine, or
- 21mg nicotine patch daily plus a ‘new generation’ cartomiser e-cigarettes with nicotine

The project is funded by the Health Research Council of New Zealand and was designed in collaboration with external investigators Dr Murray Laugesen (Health New Zealand Ltd, Christchurch) and Dr George Laking

For more information contact Associate Professor Natalie Walker (Principal Investigator)

SPGeTTI- A Gambling Harm Reduction Study

The goal of this research is to explore and test if using the SPGeTTI app can help participants stop or reduce the gambling harms being experienced.
SPGeTTI is designed to deliver a package of tailored support messages and information to anyone who is, or thinks they may be, experiencing harms from gambling. There are 5 inter-related phases in the SPGeTTI Phase II project. The five phases are below, and we are now in the fifth and final phase- evaluating effectiveness.

- Estimating smartphone ownership and patterns of use among people with problem gambling.
- Estimating likely recruitment, retention and sample size for the trial.
- Developing content, features and functions.
- Testing content, features and functions for face validity and acceptability, technical refinement and testing.
- Evaluating its effectiveness.

For more information about the study go to the SPGeTTI website https://spgetti.auckland.ac.nz/ or email the researchers at spgetti@auckland.ac.nz.

This project has ethical approval and is funded by the Ministry of Health

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SPACE trial

A placebo-controlled, double-blind randomised-controlled clinical trial designed to evaluate the effectiveness and safety of an extended varenicline (Champix) treatment for relapse prevention in people with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD).

650 participants are being recruited from the Auckland region of New Zealand. All participants will start on a 12-week course of varenicline to help them quit smoking. After twelve weeks, participants who have successfully quit will be randomly assigned to one of two study arms; for another 12 weeks they will either

- continue the use of varenicline (intervention group) or
- use a matching placebo (control group)

All participants will receive behavioural support phone calls from a trained smoking cessation specialist and they will be followed up for 6 months from randomisation, to assess quit rates.

The project is funded by the Health Research Council of New Zealand and was designed in collaboration with external investigators Professor Phillippa Poole and Dr George Laking

For more information contact Associate Professor Natalie Walker (Principal Investigator) or visit the study website http://space.nihi.auckland.ac.nz.

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STATUS trial

A randomised-controlled clinical trial designed to evaluate the effectiveness and safety of an adaptive treatment for smoking cessation in people with mental health problems and addictions.

1,100 users of Community Alcohol & Drug Services and/or Community Mental Health Services in the Auckland region of New Zealand are being recruited. All participants will start on a two week course of varenicline (Champix) to help them quit smoking. After two weeks, the research team will evaluate their response to the treatment; those who have not reduced their smoking by half or more will stay in the trial (n=789) and will be randomly assigned to one of three study arms; for 10 weeks they will either:

- complete their varenicline treatment (control group) or
- combine varenicline with bupropion (Zyban) or
- combine varenicline with a nicotine e-cigarette.

All participants will receive behavioural support phone calls from a trained smoking cessation specialist and they will be followed up for 6 months from randomisation, to assess quit rates.

The project is funded by the Health Research Council of New Zealand and was designed in collaboration with external investigators Dr George Laking, Dr Susanna Galea and Dr David Newcombe.

For more information contact Professor Chris Bullen (Principal Investigator) or visit the study website http://status.nihi.auckland.ac.nz.

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