When I first heard the news, I was a bit shocked not so much on the FDA doing E-Cig research, but more so the amount of money being spent to do said research. It comes to no surprise that the FDA has proved to be a roadblock for E-Cig users out there; deeming them unsafe because of the lack of long-term research being done. Well, they’re putting their money (or rather the tax payer’s money) where their mouth is and funding their own (hopefully unbiased) research towards electronic cigarettes.
With 270 million dollars many E-Cig users out there are hoping the money (used to fund over 50 separate studies) will get some real answers and debunk current myths and misnomers often used by lawmakers to increase E-Cig regulation. These studies are not just towards E-Juice, but everything E-Cig related including the E-Cig itself as well as high and low wattages and, etc. The FDA isn’t the big bad wolf that they’ve been made out to be. It has always been the FDA’s job to ensure to make regulations based on the best data out there. Since the data is unavailable or even sparse in some aspects, the FDA is doing their own research. It honestly makes no sense to regulate something they do not know much about and especially make decisions on something that it may do or may not do. High five to the FDA for once!
The FDA is severe about the research being done. Dr Suchitra Krishnan-Sarin of Yale University, who is leading four projects claims that the FDA wants these studies done “yesterday” or in layman’s terms as soon as humanly possible. However as like most studies, it will take a very long time to complete, sometimes even years to collect the most accurate data. In fact, Dr. Krishnan-Sarin claims he won’t have definitive results for another two years, and his study won’t be complete for another four or five. Keep in mind while these studies are being done, the E-Cig industry continues to bloom. It is quickly becoming a multi-billion dollar industry. In fact by the time these studies are complete, the E-Cig industry could easily be in the 11 figures (tens of billions of dollars). The social, economic impact would be devastating if Dr Suchitra Krishnan-Sarin and other scientists find the E-Cigs to be actually harmful (doubtful but I’m playing devil’s advocate here). So you can see why the FDA has such a rush order on these studies.
One of the more interesting studies being conducted is the high voltage and high wattage devices and how they affect e-juice emissions. The FDA is very aware the advanced products do exist and can perform well over 150w (some even over 300w). Most studies that have been done have been limited to the store bought brands and types (cig-a-likes and Ego pen style electronic cigarettes). The high wattage devices are taking the industry by storm especially in 2014; needless to say more studies need to be done with the products that are more popular than some of the beginner products out there. Hopefully, the results would prove to be similar to low wattage emissions where the chemicals produced are safe to second-hand vapers. But only time will tell. On an interesting note, the FDA could rule to regulate the devices as well, forcing only a certain wattage or voltage to be capable. Bad news for the cloud chasers (like myself) out there. But this is all speculation at this point.
270 million dollars is a lot of money and the FDA is definitely sending a message that they mean business. In the years to come, some regulation may happen but only time can tell. This may not be a horrible thing. Remember the FDA’s role is for public safety by regulating consumables that are deemed unsafe. It is my hope nothing bad turns up in these expensive studies. Fingers cross because there’s no way I’m going back to smoking again!