Can scientists at the Ohio State University launch an FDA-funded research study on e-cigs that is completely and totally unbiased against the vaping industry? A group from the OSU Comprehensive Cancer Center’s Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard S. Solove Research Institute, thankfully known by the significantly shorter anacronym OSUCCC-James, is attempting to do just that.
Earlier this month, OSUCCC-James made a public plea for volunteers to participate in two different clinical trials. The first study will involve the monitoring of a group of non-smokers, smokeless tobacco users, and vapers to determine how vaping effects lung functions differently than conventional smoking. The second clinical trial hopes to determine the levels at which vapers are exposed to different carcinogens and other toxins commonly found in tobacco cigarettes.
Is another FDA-funded vaping study really a good idea?
Ohio State is arguably one of the most highly regarded universities in the United States. U.S. News and World Reports ranks OSU as the nation’s largest-ever campus for a public university with the 16th best record for academic excellence nationwide. It also consistently ranks in the Top 50 universities globally.So, why would such a highly regarded academic institution accept money from the FDA to conduct two research studies on e-cigs, knowing the FDA’s controversial stance on the subject? And why conduct two more tests that so closely mimic hundreds of other scientific studies already conducted both in the United States and abroad? According to the OSU scientists, so far there is no clear evidence that vaping is significantly safer than smoking.
“We are concerned that people assume these products have fewer negative health effects as compared with cigarettes and other tobacco products. The reality is that they are still a tobacco product, and people are still inhaling potentially harmful chemicals. They should not be considered a ‘safer’ option until science has the opportunity to catch up with the consumer market.” – OSUCCC Deputy Director Peter Shields
The above statement was issued during a press conference on November 1 about the upcoming clinical trials. Not only does Dr. Shields inaccurately label e-liquids contained in vaping devices as “tobacco products,” he also seems to have already made up his mind to a fairly significant degree about which way his research is going to fall? For example, Shields is already assuming that vapers “are still inhaling potentially harmful chemicals.”
Hopefully, Ohio State and its team of scientists will remain 100% objective and open-minded when conducting their research in both of these studies. The last thing that the vaping industry, or the American smoking public, for that matter, needs is another bogus report that is intentionally misrepresenting the health benefits of e-cigs and vaping technology as a smoking cessation tool. But because the studies are being funded by two such renowned anti-vaping organizations as the FDA and the National Cancer Institute, we are acutely aware of how these agencies might significantly influence the final outcomes.
Article Credit: Matt Rowland