Georgia State to use $1.4M to study effects of e-cigarettes regulations
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For $1.4 million, Georgia State University aims to fill a “gap in understanding.”

The Georgia State University E-cigarette study will spend a four-year period understanding of the effects of federal regulation of e-cigarettes. The Atlanta-based institution of higher learning is slated to receive the funds from the National Institutes of Health, according to news.gsu.edu.

The study will be guided by Michael Pesko, an economist who is associated with Georgia State’s Andrew Young School of Policy Studies. Along with the School of Public Health at Georgia State, Cornell University, University of Kentucky, University of Pennsylvania and  Temple University are scheduled to participate in the study,news.gsu.edu, reported.

“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. “A lack of understanding of what spillover effects vaping regulations might have on other health behaviors.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention claimed 11.7 percent of high school students and 3.2 percent of adults vaped in 2016. Since the emergence of e-cigarettes as an alternative approach to quitting smoking, politicians on the national and local levels have passed a series of legislation establishing age limits and heavy taxation.

The regulation effects researchers will analyze over the next 48 months include access, pricing, use and sale of e-cigarettes, nicotine cigarettes and cigars and smokeless tobacco.

“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.”

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