A team of researchers have been awarded a grant to investigate the effects of e-cigarettes, vaping devices and other electronic nicotine delivery systems on adolescents.

Led by Elisa Trucco and Matthew Sutherland, the project is one of the first studies to examine the impact of e-cigarette-use on the developing brain.

“Although there is convincing evidence that these products may be useful tools for adults who regularly smoke cigarettes to cut-down their use, adolescents are vulnerable to adverse effects of nicotine because their brains are still rapidly developing,” said Trucco, an assistant professor of psychology at CCF and the director of the Research on Adolescent and Child Health (ReACH) Lab.

The team is also investigating whether e-cigarettes are gateway drugs that could lead to use of other substances including regular cigarettes, marijuana or illicit drugs. Although cigarette smoking has declined among Florida youth in recent years, use of electronic nicotine delivery systems has sharply increased among high school students — as much as 410 percent since 2011.

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