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FDA funds e-cigarette research at University of Louisville

There are a lot of questions when it comes to vaping and its health effects. The FDA funded research being conducted at UofL.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — There are many different opinions about e-cigarettes--that they help people quit smoking, they don't have tobacco products in them, or that they aren't bad for your health.

Dan Conklin is the Professor of Medicine at the University of Louisville and spends his days trying to learn the truth on all things e-cig related.

"As we all know, electronic cigarettes got on the market prior to being regulated," Conklin said.

RELATED: Rite Aid to stop selling e-cigarettes: reports

The FDA funds the research to help them regulate these products.

"Our research is to better understand the cardiovascular disease risks using new and emerging tobacco products," Conklin said.

Human studies are being conducted but he said it takes a long time to detect cardiovascular disease in people.

"We'll need to follow e-cig users for the next 50 years," Conklin said.

RELATED: McConnell proposes raising minimum age to buy tobacco products

He also uses animals to learn more about the earliest signs to be aware of. Conklin said most researchers agree that e-cigarettes have less carcinogens, which reduces your risk of cancer. That is only if you stick to e-cig use, we're also only talking about e-cigarettes that contain nicotine, like Juuls. 

 "The nicotine contained in this one pod is equivalent to one pack of cigarettes, or 20 cigarettes," Conklin said, regarding Juuls. 

He found in his mouse trials that exposure to electronic cigarette aerosols and nicotine "increases heart disease and we're concerned about that."

Conklin and his team provide the FDA with their data with the FDA's goal being to regulate the components in e-cigs.

Contact reporter Kristin Goodwillie at KGoodwillie@whas11.com and follow her on Twitter and Facebook

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