E-cigarettes are being increasingly monitored as of late. With its regulation that kicked off recently, National Cancer Institute and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration sponsored two studies to examine the effects of electronic smoking and other tobacco products to a person's health.
According to The Columbus Dispatch, the two clinical studies are being conducted by Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital (OSUCC-James). The FDA supports the research so as to be informed of how public health can be protected from the dangers posed by tobacco use.
Starting with the working assumption that e-cigarettes are less toxic than traditional cigarettes, Ohio State University researchers are trying to deduce how less toxic the former is from the latter. The first study is making use of four sample groups: non-smokers who would try unflavored, nicotine free e-cigarettes, traditional cigarette smokers, smokeless tobacco users, and e-cigarette smokers who inhale vaporized juice with propylene glycol and glycerin.
According to Scientific American, propylene glycol is one of the main ingredients of e-cigarettes. It is a synthetic liquid that is added to food, cosmetics and some medicines. Most notably, it has been "generally recognized as safe" by FDA since 1997.
Although it is recognized as a safe chemical, researchers are clueless if propylene glycol, along with glycerin, maintains its safety once it hits the lungs. As per The Columbus Dispatch, the chemicals are heated and when they break down, the resulting products irritate parts of the body that cause inflammation which may lead to cancer and lung disease.
To determine toxicity, the lung fluid from all groups would be collected by the university researchers through bronchoscopy, a test using a thin tube inserted to the nose or mouth that would allow access to the person's airways. The samples collected would be used to compare the inflammatory responses of the lungs of all groups (via The James).
According to The James, the second study is a partnership of Ohio State University, University of Minnesota and Roswell Park Cancer Institute. It aims to assess the contribution of e-cigarettes and other tobacco products on a user's exposure to cancer-causing chemicals and other smoke toxins. One of this study's end goals is to know if the flavors encourage smokers to use vaping devices.
600 patients would be used for the study and examined for five years. The participants would first complete questionnaires, provide urine and mouth cell samples. They would then be divided into three groups: (1) those who'll use e-cigarettes, (2) use medical nicotine and (3) continue regular smoking for eight weeks.
Researchers would be able to differentiate the effects of the various tobacco products to the users. They would also be replenished with information of how different factors lead people to smoke at a certain age.
To learn more about the studies from Ohio State University, visit cancer.osu.edu, email email@example.com or call 1-844-744-2447. Sound off your thoughts in the Comments section and follow Parent Herald for more news and updates.
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