Why vaping studies involving animals ‘have limited value’ in predicting human health effects

Scientists are now warning members of the vaping community to be wary of research involving mice and other rodents as test subjects because the findings are not usually pertinent to humans.  Many of the co-authors of these inappropriate research projects often make outlandish claims that paint vaping in a rather negative light.  From false assertions that vaping causes seizures to accusations that e-cig usage increases the risks of stroke, if the study involves mice or rodents, vapers should give it zero credibility.

An international team of tobacco harm researchers recently conducted an extensive review of numerous of these studies that specifically focus on the throat, airways, and lungs of the respiratory system. Their analysis is compiled in a paper entitled The effect of e-cigarette aerosol emissions on respiratory health: a narrative review published in The Australian Tobacco Harm Reduction Association. (ATHRA).

Even though scientists around the globe agree that the scientific analysis of vaping aerosols shows far fewer toxic chemicals and particles compared to that of combustible tobacco smoke, many of these “mouse” studies seemingly indicate otherwise.  By reviewing the scientific techniques involved in each and every study, the international review team came to some remarkable conclusions. 

Most vaping studies involving rodents fail to follow basic scientific protocols

Led by Dr. Riccardo Polosa, a Professor of Internal Medicine and a Specialist of Respiratory Diseases at the University of Catania, the reviewers found that many of these studies were poorly designed which often led to the co-authors’ findings being very misleading.  Particularly for studies involving live rodents or the lung cells of mice and rats, the associated researchers often failed to consider the comparable dosages of e-cig vapor being thrust upon their animal test subjects.

In other words, the normal amount of e-liquid vapor vaped by a human should always be exponentially greater than the comparable amount of vapor for a tiny mouse.  The amounts would never be identical, which can quickly lead to the publication of misleading findings. 

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Another common yet significant discrepancy in scientific protocols is when the co-authors of these bogus vaping studies overexpose their rodents to e-cig vapor for excessively long periods.  For example, some mice were exposed non-stop for up to 48-hours in a single test.  The Polosa team also found that in most of the mice studies, the scientists usually fail to conduct comparable tests using conventional cigarette smoke, which only misleads the reader even further.

“These studies have shown a response to e-liquid exposure regardless of the cell systems and that some cell systems are more responsive than others. These studies have been criticized as not being representative of exposures under normal conditions of use, for example testing high doses and using continuous exposure protocols, in some cases as long as 48 hours. Also, some of these studies did not compare the effects of EC with conventional tobacco products.”

Of course, if a rat or a human is exposed continuously to e-liquid vapor for a full two-days, any number of negative health effects might occur, but normal everyday vapers don’t vape 24/7.   According to the Polosa team, these types of poorly designed vaping studies “do not represent exposures under normal conditions of use” and “have limited value.”

So, the question becomes:  Are these anti-vaping scientists intentionally publishing research that they know to be a sham?  Or are they just grossly inadequate at their jobs?

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