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Researcher Drives Efforts To Educate Youth About E-Cigs, Hookahs

Focusing on the Journey
Taghrid Asfar, M.D., M.S.P.H.

The recent surge in electronic cigarette use among youth and young adults is alarming, dangerous and fueled by misinformation, according to Sylvester researcher Taghrid Asfar, M.D., M.S.P.H.

“This device provides nicotine and nicotine causes dependence and addiction, and we are very worried that the new generation will be hooked on nicotine because of using electronic cigarettes,” said Dr. Asfar, who is leading two grants aimed at developing evidence-based health communication messages on warning labels to educate the public.

In 2021, Dr. Asfar began work as co-principal investigator ofa $5.63 million R01 grant from the National Institute on Drug Abuse to study electronic cigarette health warning labels. She and a team of investigators also launched a five-year, $1.5 million grant by the Esther King Biomedical Research Program award from the Florida Department of Health, to study the impact of stronger health warning labels on water pipes, or hookahs, in Florida.