Inhaler trial aims to reduce lung damage in smokers


Young smokers are being sought to take part in a product trial that may slow lung decline

The GSK-funded trial, being run by The George Institute for Global Health, is recruiting people aged 25-45 with the aim to try and slow down lung function decline in smokers, and reduce rates of chronic bronchitis and emphysema.

Two long-acting bronchodilators will be taken through an inhaler once a day, opening up the airways. The researchers hope inhaler treatment may slow down damage and help young smokers to avoid emphysema and other COPD conditions.

However they point out the treatment will not prevent other illnesses associated with smoking such as lung cancer.

“This is not a get out of jail free card for smokers,” says Professor Christine Jenkins, head of Respiratory Trials at The George Institute.

“We know that millions of people around the world are addicted to tobacco and find it very hard to give up smoking.

“What we want to do is to see if we can slow down, and potentially even help some young smokers avoid emphysema and chronic bronchitis which are incredibly debilitating conditions,” she says.

“COPD is a huge burden on the healthcare system.  It’s the second leading cause of avoidable hospital admissions, and affects one in seven Australians.”

The fully independent study is being funded by GSK with an investment of $1.3 million.

“GSK has been investing in respiratory research for over 40 years,” says Dr Andrew Weekes, the Medical Director of GSK Australia.

“This Australian study is one of the largest independent studies supported by GSK. We are pleased to support this study which explores a unique question regarding progression of lung disease in smokers.”

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