E-Research Foundation Launches Comprehensive Vapor Products Research Site
A relatively new voice in the debate over electronic cigarettes has emerged with a fairly impressive resume. The E-Research Foundation (ERF for short) is a non-profit (pending) organization dedicated to funding, promoting, and disseminating research which helps us better understand electronic cigarettes and vapor products.
Their new website is going to be a housing location for existing knowledge on vapor products and a launching ground for new research. Generally this will be peer-reviewed and published studies from credible sources. Already, the site has a list of studies totaling 92 at the time this post was published. It certainly makes it hard to take anyone seriously when they claim there’s no research into electronic cigarettes or vapor products.
That’s not to say that there isn’t a need for more research. For opponents to the products, it seems there is no amount of research that will be enough to convince them maybe these products have something to offer. But ERF isn’t going to be getting involved in advocacy and lobbying. They exist to be a neutral player in all this. They fund research and share it with the world regardless of whether it supports the industry or not.
Certainly there will be claims that they are biased — after all, their leadership includes prominent e-cig advocates Lou Ritter (American E-Liquid Manufacturing Standards Association), Cynthia Cabrera (Smoke-Free Alternatives Trade Association), Peter Beckett (Electronic Cigarette Industry Trade Association in the UK), Linc Williams (We are Vapers) and more. However, the organization itself is designed with a singular focus on advancing medical and scientific research. Though commentary on each of the 92 studies it currently has listed would help provide a clearer picture of current research, the organization is comporting itself like a scientific entity first and a media outlet never (something that the industry has been lacking thus far).
All industries need entities like this. Although some create them purely as propaganda machines — and ERF may be called that and worse — it always helps to have something out there focusing on the science so that it can move at a pace faster than agonizingly slow. And that’s the pace you end up with if you leave things in the hands of regulators.
Here’s an interesting note to end on. ERF is also an acronym used for Extreme Reaction Force. This is a riot squad which responds to detainee problems in military detention centers like that in Guantanamo Bay. They are always suited up and ready to respond when things go bad. Now ERF (the e-cig one) might not exactly be the shock troops of the industry when it comes to regulatory advocacy and public relations, but they will certainly be a good source of the science that always needs to be on hand when these fights break out.