Tag Archives: Electronic Cigarette Study

University of Wisconsin Receives $3.7 Million Dollar Grant for Electronic Cigarette Study

June 12, 2015

The University of Wisconsin recently received a $3.7 million dollar grant to begin conducting a 5-year study that will be of particular interest to anyone who currently uses electronic cigarettes. This seminal study seeks to observe and document the effects of vaping and smoking together, a practice that is commonly referred to as “dual use”.
While the specific details of the study have yet to be released, what can be gathered is that the University of Wisconsin will solicit the help of 400 people (150 smokers and 250 “dual users”) in order to study the public health effects of smoking traditional tobacco cigarettes versus smoking along with vaping. The researchers who are conducting the study aim to “inform public health policy” by providing meaningful statistics regarding the differences in health effects of traditional smoking versus vaping.
The study, which is slated to begin in the Fall of 2015, is being hailed by vaping supporters as a long-awaited confirmation of what most consider to be an obvious safety difference between e-cigarette vaporizing and smoking traditional tobacco cigarettes. As decades of research have pointed out, tobacco smoke is filled with literally thousands of toxins and confirmed carcinogens that are actually more potent when inhaled second-hand. For example, some of the chemicals and toxins found in traditional cigarettes include tar, carbon monoxide, ammonia, arsenic, DDT, and formaldehyde. Although lobbyists for Big Tobacco managed to stave off regulatory pressures for several years, the avalanche of years of research has now made the evidence all but irrefutable that tobacco smoke poses a serious health risk to smokers and those affected by second-hand smoke alike. Vaping supporters hope that this new study will dispel much of the ambiguity regarding the safety risks of vaping, especially in comparison to traditional smoking.
The University of Wisconsin study will employ the use of biomarkers (e.g., blood pressure, etc.) to help measure the health effects of dual use over a prolonged period of time. While periodic measurements over a 90-day period may provide a decent amount of data to identify trends, the law of large numbers will come into play with this study, as it will take place over a period of five years. By using a large quantity of data collected over several years–and with hundreds of participants involved–researchers will be provided with much more reliable data, which will help them draw more accurate and informed conclusions.
The five-year study will give researchers ample time and data to be able to identify key changes in important biomarkers, which can provide clues as to certain physical effects that may come from dual use. While vaping enthusiasts have long believed that electronic cigarettes are far safer than traditional cigarettes, there has been very little in regards to “real” scientific studies that could serve to give them the ammunition they have sought to quell rumors and speculation regarding the safety of e-cigarette use. Since vaping is widely considered to be the most viable alternative to smoking traditional cigarettes, many would-be e-cigarette users are earnestly seeking to understand exactly what their options are in terms of alternative nicotine delivery systems. The Wisconsin study will more than likely spawn several others, as inquiries from advocacy groups and government regulators regarding e-cigarette safety continue to increase. Hopefully, the study will not only provide conclusive information regarding the potential health effects of dual use, but it might possibly unlock vital information regarding new types of cessation treatment options as well.
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