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Investigating the carcinogenic potential of e-cig in humans

Institution: University of Southern California
Investigator(s): Ahmad Besaratinia, Ph.D., M.P.H.
Award Cycle: 2017 (Cycle 26) Grant #: 26IR-0015 Award: $474,971
Subject Area: Early Diagnosis of Tobacco-Related Cancer
Award Type: High Impact Research Project Award

Initial Award Abstract

Electronic cigarettes (e-cig) are promoted as safe alternatives to tobacco cigarettes or as aides to smoking cessation. E-cig are rapidly gaining acceptance in the United States and many parts of the world. However, there is very limited scientific evidence to support the safety of e-cig or their efficacy in aiding smoking cessation. To generate foundational evidence that can guide future public health policies on e-cig, it is imperative to determine the biological effects of e-cig on tissues and organs of individuals who regularly use these tobacco products. Toward this goal, our proposed research will provide scientific knowledge on the biological effects of e-cig as determined by molecular changes linked to risk of cancer. Our proposed studies will provide timely information about the possible health effects of e-cig years prior to onset of cancer if e-cig are ultimately proven to cause malignancy. This information will be instrumental in developing and evaluating policies and regulations on e-cig to better understand the risks posed by such products, especially among vulnerable populations, such as impressionable teens and young adults.