The Ohio State University is getting $20 million in federal funding to help the Food and Drug Administration regulate tobacco products. The 5-year study is hoping to make tobacco products such as vaping less appealing to young people.
One of the focuses of the new research funded by the FDA, along with the National Cancer Institute, is to discourage teens from using e-cigarettes and other vape products.
“We’re trying to find that sweet spot where we can regulate these products so that kids aren’t interested anymore and non-users aren’t interested in them,” said Dr. Theodore Wagner, director of OSU’s Center for Tobacco Research.
Wagner said that before 2016, they were not seeing a lot of kids becoming daily users after trying the e-cigarette products. That has since changed.
He believes the nicotine used in newer products is more addictive than before, and they “don’t want to addict a new generation of young people and non-users to nicotine.”
“Our science needs to adapt and we need to reverse engineer what they’ve done to figure out how can we get kids and non-users to stop using them,” he said.
According to the National Tobacco Youth Survey:
- 42% of teens who currently use e-cigarettes had used the products 20 or more days over a 30-day stretch
- 55% preferred to use disposable devices
- 84% preferred to use flavored vape products.
OSU’s research hopes to help the FDA regulate e-cigarettes, and guide adult smokers to these products as they can be less harmful than traditional cigarettes.
“Find them satisfying and appealing enough that they want to move from the most harmful products – cigarettes and smokeless tobacco — to these products.”