The module was developed by the Advancing Secondary Science Education Through Tetrahymena (ASSET) program, and funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH).”We created this module in direct response to the vaping epidemic spreading among teens and children,” said Dr. Donna Cassidy-Hanley, a senior research associate and program manager of the program.
The idea that youth vaping has become an “epidemic” was started last Summer by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Meanwhile, several public health experts amongst whom renowned tobacco researcher Dr. Konstantinos Farsalinos, have pointed out why considering an increase in e-cig use an epidemic, is a flawed premise.
Farsalinos had explained that the risk of dependence on nicotine and the risks associated with e-cigarette use, cannot and shouldn’t be compared to the risks from smoking. He pointed out that the duty of public health officials is to weigh the benefits and adverse effects of any intervention and check where the balance lies, adding that in the case of e-cigarettes, the benefits outweigh the adverse effects, and this needs to be taken into account.
ASSET kit is sent free of charge
Meanwhile, the kit launched by ASSET is prepared for teachers and sent at no cost. It contains small quantities of e-cigarette vapor condensate, unsmoked vape juice and water that has been vaporized and re-condensed in a clean e-cigarette. Students are then instructed to apply these materials to a single-celled ciliated protozoan called Tetrahymena,after which they can compare the effect of each additive on cell viability, motility and overall shape.
The kit also includes a guide for teachers, providing basic information about vaping, and the effects of nicotine on the human body, citing studies regarding the effects of e-cigarette vapour on cultured human lung cells.
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