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New Studies set to Examine E-cigarette Risks

Update Date: Jul 07, 2014 10:38 AM EDT

Due to the increasing popularity of e-cigarettes, more and more studies have taken on the task of examining the health risks involved with these "vaping" products. The U.S Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is spending $270 million on 48 studies that will assess the potential dangers of using e-cigarettes.

"They want data and they want it yesterday," commented Dr. Suchitra Krishnan-Sarin of Yale University, who is leading four projects, reported by FOX News.

In one of the studies, the research team plans to count the total number of puffs or "vapes" that people take in order to see if that number negatively affects one's health. In another study, the researchers will examine Facebook posts about e-cigarettes and how people are using them to assess risks. In a third study, researchers will create a virtual convenience store targeted to 13 to 17-year-old children who will be exposed to different e-cigarette displays and promotions. The team will analyze whether or not these displays and promotions influence adolescents to purchase these products.

"This is the kind of research that is going to be informing the FDA's regulatory process," said Michael Eriksen, dean of the School of Public Health and leader of three FDA-funded projects on tobacco.

A FDA spokeswoman stressed, "[The FDA] will always make regulatory decisions based on the best available science. With regard to e-cigarettes, the agency does not believe it will take many years to create the regulatory framework."

The agency is not expecting results until 2018. Since these results could affect how the FDA plans to regulate e-cigarettes, the agency will look all available findings, which include e-cigarette studies that are not backed by the agency.

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