NIDCR Supports Several New Studies to Determine Biological and Physiological Effects of Electronic Cigarette Aerosol Mixtures

March 10, 2016

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Although the safety of the aerosol mixtures emitted by electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) is not known, the popularity of these nicotine-delivery devices is soaring. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that in 2014, 13% of high school students and about 4% of middle school students reported using an e-cigarette within the past month. As the Food and Drug Administration tries to expand regulatory authority over the new devices, the agency will require safety data on constituents in the water vapor, such as formaldehyde (which is known to cause cancer), lead, nitrosamines, and propylene glycol. Unfortunately, such data are limited. To improve the understanding of the effects of e-cigarette aerosol mixtures on the oral cavity, NIDCR awarded seven research grants (RFA-DE-16-004 and RFA-DE-16-005) totaling more than $2 million.

“When a liquid nicotine solution is vaporized by an e-cigarette, multiple constituents may be found in the aerosols, but we don’t yet know the biological and physiological impact of these aerosols on oral tissue or its microbiome,” said Sundar Venkatachalam, PhD, who is the program official for e-cigarette research and director of NIDCR’s Oral and Salivary Cancer Biology Program. “The projects being funded will provide much needed information on the effects of e-cigarette chemicals on oral health.”

The following four projects will be funded for up to four years (pending progress and available funds):

In addition, three projects will be funded for up to two years (pending progress and available funds):

Last Reviewed
July 2018