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Metabolic and Carcinogen Effect of Electronic Cigarettes

Institution: Friends Research Institute, Inc.
Investigator(s): Theodore Friedman, M.D., Ph.D.
Award Cycle: 2016 (Cycle 25) Grant #: 25IP-0013S Award: $384,454
Subject Area: Environmental Exposure/Toxicology
Award Type: High Impact Pilot Award

Initial Award Abstract

Tobacco use is the #1 leading cause of preventable deaths in the United States. Approximately 90% of adult smokers reported smoking prior to the age of 18. Recently, Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems, ENDS (also known as electronic cigarettes or e-cigarettes) have surpassed conventional cigarettes among adolescents. ENDS are considered to be safe by the general public, however there have been no studies to determine their long-term effects and whether they lead to diabetes, insulin resistance or increase the rate at which cancer cells divide. The use of our mouse electronic cigarette delivery system will allow us to deliver nicotine from leading brands of electronic cigarettes into mice. We will determine if these mice develop diabetes, fat depositions in their liver or, in mouse models of breast cancer, if there is an increase in the rate of cell division and tumor growth. Our mouse electronic cigarette delivery system will allow us and other investigators to study other potential negative effects of ENDS, including their effects on lung function and potential to induce a variety of cancers. We will report our results in high quality, peer-reviewed journals and scientific conferences such as TRDRP conference, the annual meeting of Society for Neuroscience, the annual Drug Abuse Research Symposium at Charles R. Drew University, and the translational nicotine research group symposium at UCLA. Of paramount importance in the study community where smoking is abundant and where there are high tobacco-related health disparities, researchers will bring awareness about our study and outcomes to residents, community and faith-based organizations. Our study will help policy makers determine whether electronic cigarettes should be regulated as conventional cigarettes are currently regulated. As our study is looking at electronic cigarette vapors, it will also inform policy makers on the safety of second-hand electronic cigarette vapor and whether electronic cigarettes should be banned from public use.