The National Institutes of Health is spending $1.4 million to fund a study looking at the results of vaping regulations. The NIH and FDA Center for Tobacco Products have spent hundreds of millions of dollars studying almost every aspect of vaping.
Georgia State University researcher Michael Pesko will lead a team from five universities in an investigation of the effects of e-cigarette regulations. According to a GSU press release, Dr. Pesko, an assistant professor of economics, has received a $1.4 million grant from the NIH to fund the four-year study.
The researchers “will study the effects of e-cigarette-related regulations on pricing, access, public perception of the safety of e-cigarettes, and the use and sale of e-cigarettes, traditional cigarettes, cigars and smokeless tobacco.” They’ll also examine the impact vaping regulations has had on sales of nicotine replacement therapy products like patches and gum.
“There is a gap in understanding how to regulate or deregulate e-cigarettes in the most optimal way from the perspective of public health,” Pesko said in the press release, “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,” Pesko said. “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.”