Not your father’s tobacco: A scientist’s perspective on health risks of e-cigarettes

Not your father’s tobacco: A scientist’s perspective on health risks of e-cigarettes

Beer with a Scientist, May 15
Not your father’s tobacco: A scientist’s perspective on health risks of e-cigarettes

Daniel Conklin, Ph.D.

What would you guess is the average age when someone starts smoking?

Perhaps early 20’s? Maybe even 16?

“The average chronic smoker begins smoking at 13.7 years old,” says Daniel Conklin, Ph.D. “And if you know anything about averages, that’s...not good.”

Conklin, a professor of medicine at the University of Louisville, specializes in cardiovascular research and what environmental pollutants do to our bodies. At this month’s Beer with a Scientist, Conklin will discuss smoking and what we do (and don’t) know about the harm caused by electronic cigarettes.

“Essentially, we’re trying to separate fact from fiction. We’re currently part of an American Heart Association Tobacco Regulation Center to investigate emerging tobacco products and their potential to cause harm to the cardiovascular system,” Conklin said. “We’re trying to figure out the best way to regulate these products.”

Scientists have known that conventional tobacco products are associated with cardiovascular disease risk since the 1960s, Conklin said. However, with new technology comes a new generation of health risks and the emerging science showing what vaping does to the body may shock you.

Conklin’s talk will begin at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, May 15, at Holsopple Brewing, 8023 Catherine Lane. A 30-minute presentation will be followed by an informal Q&A session.

Admission is free. Purchase of beer or other items is not required but is encouraged. Organizers encourage Beer with a Scientist patrons to drink responsibly.

UofL cancer researcher Levi Beverly, Ph.D., created the Beer with a Scientist program in 2014 as a way to bring science to the public in an informal setting. At these events, the public is invited to enjoy exactly what the title promises:  beer and science.