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Will chocolate e-cigs entice kids? Yale researchers investigate

They want data and they want it yesterday,” Yale tobacco researcher Suchitra Krishnan-Sarin tells Reuters.

She’s speaking of the US Food and Drug Administration, which announced this spring that it intends to begin regulating e-cigarettes and is now urgently seeking data about the health effects of the electronic nicotine delivery systems.

The FDA is spending $270 million on 48 research projects, ranging from the chemical makeup of the vapor that e-cigarettes produce to whether the rise of “vaping”  brings a reduction in smoking, Reuters reports.

Krishnan-Sarin, a psychiatry professor at the School of Medicine, is leading four projects. Reuters says they include studying “whether menthol and flavors such as chocolate and cherry increase the appeal of e-cigarettes, especially to 16-to-18-year-old smokers or ‘dual users’ who both smoke and vape.”

At the moment, the FDA’s list of questions about e-cigarettes seems to exceed what is actually known. The questions include:

  • the potential risks of e-cigarettes when used as intended,
  • how much nicotine or other potentially harmful chemicals are being inhaled during use, or
  • whether there are any benefits associated with using these products.

“Additionally,” the agency says, “it is not known whether e-cigarettes may lead young people to try other tobacco products, including conventional cigarettes, which are known to cause disease and lead to premature death.”


The Yale Alumni Magazine is published by Yale Alumni Publications Inc., an alumni-based nonprofit that is not run by Yale University. Its content does not necessarily reflect the views of the university administration.

Filed under e-cigarettes, Suchitra Krishnan-Sarin, FDA
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