National Institute of Health awards $1.4 million grant to review U.S. vaping laws
The National Institute of Health (NIH) has just awarded an American university a $1.4 million grant to study the pros and cons of the FDA deeming regulations on the society-at-large. The study is to be led by Dr. Michael Pesko of Georgia State University (GSU) and will focus topics that include how these vaping laws positively or negatively affect public perception of vaping, the laws’ effects on the sales and use of other nicotine replacement therapies like the patch, and even how people interact with vaping devices. Pesko’s scientific team will also include other highly-regarded members of academia from Cornell, the University of Pennsylvania, and the University of Kentucky.
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The NIH is one of the world’s leading centers for medical research. In fact, the Vapes.com website has referenced numerous NIH-published research papers in our blogs as educational tools for new, veteran, and aspiring vapers. According to Pesko, the new NIH-sponsored research is so desperately needed because of a current “gap in understanding” of the perceived health benefits or risks associated with vaping regulations.
“There is a gap in understanding how to regulate or deregulate e-cigarettes in the most optimal way from the perspective of public health and a lack of understanding of what spillover effects vaping regulations might have on other health behaviors…
If e-cigarettes are heavily taxed or regulated, people might be discouraged from using them as smoking cessation devices, which would likely have a negative impact on public health…
On the other hand, e-cigarettes are not harmless and so regulating them could have health benefits if the regulations don’t tip people into more dangerous traditional cigarette use.”
The NIH-sponsored study is approaching the topic of vaping from an entirely different angle compared to most other e-cigs studies surfacing online in recent years. Dr. Pesco is not a medical health specialist. He is a world-class economist and researcher who tends to favor less rather than more government regulation regardless of the related industry. With the recent surge in legislative proposals at the federal, state, and even local levels in recent months, the GSU study hopes to shed new light on the potentially devastating effects that an ill-informed legislative process can have on public health.
Is the American vaping industry being over-regulated?
For example, just a few months ago, the city of San Francisco implemented a ban on the sales of flavored e-liquids under the guise of protecting Bay Area teens from the dangers of future smoking addiction. The “vaping is a gateway to smoking” argument is nothing new, but it is – at best – unproven. How could it be? The vaping phenomenon has only been around for about five years. There simply has not been enough time to successfully locate, track, and analyze a substantially-sized control group of teen vapers as they transition into adulthood.
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Meanwhile, the deeming regulations as set forth by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are also largely based on this same premise. Furthermore, the FDA has just ended a 120-day probe into the possibility of also implementing a flavor ban on e-liquids at the national level, similar to the legislation passed in San Francisco just weeks prior.
The GSU study might finally provide U.S. public health officials with positive vaping data that mimics a comparable study conducted in the United Kingdom and just released this month. In the report entitled The Value of Providing Smokers with Free E-Cigarettes: Smoking Reduction and Cessation Associated with the Three-Month Provision to Smokers of a Refillable Tank-Style E-Cigarette, a control groups of smokers who switched to vaping for only 90-days exhibited an average success rate of complete abstinence of about 36 percent.
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