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Proposed Research Could Answer Vital Questions About Vaping Proposed Research Could Answer Vital Questions About Vaping

Over $3 million was recently granted to the University of Colorado to create the world’s most advanced fake human lung.

Many people are quick to forget that vaping is actually a really new invention. It was just over ten years ago that very few people had ever even heard of vaping, let alone used one. These days though, e-cigarettes have grown into a colossal industry that commands billions of dollars every year. Along with the increased popularity, we’ve been gathering peer-reviewed evidence about vaping which supports their extreme harm reduction and smoking cessation ability. That said, we still have many more questions in need of answering. In fact, researchers at the University of Colorado recently received over $3 million from the FDA to develop a human lung proxy for studying e-liquid vapor.

According to releases, the project would eventually create a “living” lung that would help shed some light on many of the more complicated questions surrounding vaporizers. As you could imagine, people on both sides of the debate had very different reactions to the news, with supporters praising the move, while critics blasted the timing and real goals. Despite the debate, only time will truly tell if this research leads to a better or worse situation for the vaping industry. However, many believe it could be a significant development one way or another.

Ground Breaking Research

Vaping research could soon be gaining an incredibly valuable tool. Several reports indicate the FDA recently gave $3.4 million to researchers at the Anschutz Medical Campus to develop the next generation of “living” research lungs. The plan is to develop a multicellular 3D lung which has many of the same cells and structures found in the human body. This type of research is quite tricky, but the results can be game-changing. Once the proxy lung is developed, it could make generating vaping research a much simpler and more accurate process. Some of the primary ways it will be useful are in tracking the impact of vapor on genes, cell function, and toxicants present. As such, it could significantly increase our understanding of e-cigarettes if researchers are successful.

Making the news even better is the climate currently surrounding vaping. Companies like Juul Labs are dealing with increased scrutiny, as the majority of the public still sees them as just as, if not more dangerous than cigarettes. In fact, a recent report attempts to claim the nicotine in Juul Pods are so high they’re toxic to humans. Despite immediate and robust condemnation from the majority of experts for misleading research design, few people in the general public seem to be aware. The team of researchers are optimistic this new lung proxy could be a game-changer for vaping research, “This study has an unprecedented potential to advance the available toolkits for FDA to better protect and promote public health concerns around tobacco products.”

What We Know About Vaping

While this new research will likely improve our understanding of e-cigarettes, we already have plenty of reason to support them. It was back in 2015 that we got our first large scale report concluding vaping is at least 95% safer than continued smoking. In the years since we’ve gotten more and more reports which reach similar conclusions. Just recently a team of researchers concluded the toxicants in cigarette smoke are about 93% higher than in e-liquid vapor. But those numbers pale in comparison to a report published in the Journal of Aerosol Sciences which concluded the excess lifetime cancer risk of a vaper is around 57,000 times lower than a demographically similar smoker.

Looking past the general harm reduction and we still have a lot to love about the vaping industry. For instance, we have reports which conclude not only is vaping an effective smoking cessation tool but actually the most likely to lead to success. But to truly understand everything at stake, you have to consider the report conducted by Action on Smoking and Health of over 60,000 students. The team concluded only between 0.1% and 0.5% of non-smoking teens are ever ending up vapers. Let alone making the jump to harsh combustible cigarettes.


We need all the groundbreaking research we can muster on vaping. Brand new methods like the funded human lung proxy will only increase our understanding of the many benefits of e-cigarettes. Unfortunately, many in the general public seem to be convinced vaping is extremely dangerous, despite the lack of hard evidence. The more people who understand what vaping has to offer, the harder it is for the government to take our rights away. It’s up to each and every one of us to fight back against the misinformation and teach those around us the many benefits of vaping. Despite what many people believe, e-cigarettes could be one of the most valuable harm reduction tools ever invented.

Will new research like the lung proxy help increase vaping rights? What’s the most important thing to keep in mind about vaping? What’s the best way to spread independent research to those around us? Let us know what you think in the comments, and don’t forget to check back here or join our Facebook and Twitter communities for more news and articles.


Dustin Erickson

Dustin Erickson - ECR.net Editor

Dustin can lay claim as one the first e-cigarette reviewers on the internet. Back in the summer of 2009 he set out on a mission to spread the word about e-cigs with this very site. Nearly 2.5 Million visitors, 1,700 Reviews collected and 5 years later, he’s still as passionate as ever and one of the leading Vaping advocates online.