Just the other week, we were discussing our displeasure at the lack of conclusive evidence there has been regarding e-cig research. It has been a decade already. With all of our technological advancements and medical knowledge, we should already have answers about just how much harm reduction e-cigarettes provide. The new study (linked to above), which is being carried out by the EU’s Smoke Free Brain project and Public Health England, will assess the impact on the risk of cancer, brain activity, and quality of life indicators such as sleep.
Though this will provide the evidence we are looking for, after second thought, opponents may still lurk in the background. They will come out and say that while it assesses those specific factors, it doesn’t address other concerns, such as effect on lung function, etc. And, they will be right.
Over the next few dozen years, we will see hundreds, if not thousands, of research reports about electronic cigarettes. If you are a proponent of vaping, you should be excited about this. We certainly are, especially concerning the new upcoming e-cigarette research.
The Prevent Cancer Foundation has awarded a $100,00 USD grant to a University of Buffalo epidemiologist (Dr. Jo Freudenheim) and her team in order to compare DNA methylation differences in cigarette smokers, vapers, and non-smokers.
While the initial research piece focuses on the health implications in certain areas for e-cig users, this new study will focus on the difference of three different groups. Generally speaking, most research studies compare vapers to smokers or vapers to non-smokers. There is currently very little documented research comparisons across these three groups.
The Breakdown of the Study
Participants between the ages of 21 and 30 underwent a bronchoscopy, which is a procedure that collects lung cells. While DNA methylation changes are seen in both smokers and non-smokers, and therefore by default e-cigarette users, we don’t know how each group compares to the other in terms of how much change we actually see. This study will hopefully help in determining that.
Should We Already be Concerned?
There is one little piece of information we would like to add. This study will build off Dr. Peter Shield’s 2016 e-cigarette study…which was funded by the FDA. The fact that Dr. Freudenheim has already stated that, “the FDA, in particular, is very interested in data about the biological impact of e-cigarettes,” is worrisome. Why bring up the FDA, a known opponent of electronic cigarettes, when this is supposed to be a non-biased research paper? Yes, we realise this is speculation and that are going out on a limb here, but can you blame us with everything the FDA has done so far?