Lou Ritter | 31 October 2014
• GUEST BLOG •
The E-Research Foundation (ERF) is a non-profit foundation designed to be a collective funding portal. As such, ERF will provide financial assistance to researchers seeking to advance independent peer-reviewed and published scientific research focused on electronic vapor products (electronic cigarettes) and their use. ERF is seeking 501(c)(3) status.
Global concerns over the safety of e-vapor products, including e-liquids, mandates a clear need to further advance scientific data to satisfy potential regulatory requirements. Continuing to identify and evaluate any health implications will remain important to ongoing consumer education as well. ERF’s mission is to foster independent research focused on understanding the potential health benefits, and potential consequences, related to these products. As a non-profit foundation seeking 501(c)(3) status, the ERF operates in accordance with all rules and regulations applicable to 501(c)(3) organizations and will not participate in inappropriate advocacy (e.g., lobbying) efforts.
Unlike other industries, which have the financial ability to fund their own research, most Electronic Vapor Products (EVPs) industry stakeholders are smaller entrepreneurial vendors and manufacturers. Smaller businesses do not have the ability to individually fund independent scientific research; thus, in the spirit of a professionally guided crowd-funding equivalent tool, ERF was formed to help raise the necessary funds.
The ERF Board of Directors assembled recognized leaders from all categories of the e-vapor products market place, including consumer advocates, to participate on the Grant Committee. The committee members include leading representatives from: e-vapor device manufacturing, e-liquid manufacturing, non-manufacturing vendors, leading advocacy association senior executives, knowledgeable consumers, the leading international vapor forum, and public policy.
Independent researchers, seeking funding for their e-vapor product studies, will be able to request grants from the ERF. The ERF Grant Committee will determine which research endeavors receive funding.
All potential grant recipients, as a prerequisite to receiving ERF funds, must commit to submitting their research for peer-reviewed publication. This requirement ensures all ERF-funded research will receive transparent scrutiny by the professional medical and scientific communities. In its capacity as a funding portal, ERF will not be involved in the design of study protocols or the performance of the research itself. From time to time, ERF may initiate Requests for Proposals on specific research topics of interest.
The ERF website provides an extensive list of existing peer-reviewed and published studies as well as a wide variety of video presentations by globally recognized experts speaking at leading industry conferences.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s proposed “Deeming Regulation,” which seeks to regulate nicotine-containing e-vapor products as tobacco products, is already being considered by the Agency and could be finalized in the next 1-2 years. Research to understand the public health impact of these products, to help industry stakeholders prepare premarket authorization applications, and to provide consumers with information to make informed decisions is needed immediately.
The ERF is in the process for filing for recognition as an Internal Revenue Code (IRC) Section 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization. The E-Research Foundation encourages all donors to consult their tax advisors regarding the making of donations to the foundation pending recognition of its IRC Section 501(c)(3) status. International (non-U.S.) donors should likewise consult their tax advisors about making donations to an organization located in the United States.
We invite you to our detailed information and meet the ERF Team: