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VCU Awarded $19.8 Million for Government Funded Study

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It’s too early to tell the impact of the Food and Drug Administration’s warnings handed down in September, but researchers at the Center for the Study of Tobacco Products at Virginia Commonwealth University have been awarded a grant to study the effects on an outright ban of flavored e-cigarettes.

VCU researchers were awarded $19.78 million over five years to study the impact of product regulation, which the Richmond Times-Dispatch calls “tobacco and other novel tobacco product regulation.” It says a total ban could not fix the problem, in fact, it might make matters worse.Thomas Eissenberg, director of the Center for the Study of Tobacco Products at Virginia Commonwealth University, told the Times-Dispatch that a black market possibility could happen if there is a flavor ban, with teenagers heading to the internet for flavor recipes.

The Times-Dispatch reminds us that this team also received a grant five years ago to study e-cigarettes “and other new tobacco products, which was funded by the National Institutes of Health and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. This grant also is funded by these organizations and will study potential regulations and “what would happen if the FDA followed the European Union’s move and limited e-cigarette liquids to 20 milligrams of nicotine per milliliter of e-liquid.

Eissenberg warns that regulations “when not grounded in science can not only fail to achieve its intent … but can have unintended consequences that are potentially harmful for users.

Other research elements include:

  • wattage or power on electronic cigarette devices and nicotine dosages
  • higher-powered e-cigarette devices and potential substances that are bad for the lungs
  • temperature of e-liquids-differences in the impact of low concentrations of nicotine delivered by high-powered e-cigarettes versus high concentrations delivered in low-power devices
  • how much effort people will make to get flavored e-cigarettes or pay to get flavored e-cigarettes if flavors were banned