University of Hawaii at Manoa Homepage

News Highlights

November 21, 2018

UH Cancer Center researcher awarded $1.4M for e-cigarette research

HONOLULU – The National Cancer Institute and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration awarded a three year $1.4 million grant for e-cigarette research to University of Hawai‘i Cancer Center researcher, Pallav Pokhrel, PhD. Pokhrel and his team will examine how marketing spreads e-cigarette knowledge, attitudes and behavior through young adult networks.

“E-cigarettes are currently poorly regulated but e-cigarette use is increasingly prevalent among youth and young adults between the ages of 18 and 25 years old,” said Pokhrel. “Currently the public health consequences of e-cigarette use are largely unknown. This new study aims to generate knowledge that will help develop tobacco control policies and interventions that would promote the health of young adults in Hawai‘i and across the nation.”

The research will also help identify vulnerable groups of young adults who develop nicotine addiction as a result of targeted e-cigarette marketing, and will highlight how e-cigarette use spreads among this age group as a result of marketing.

“The FDA recently addressed the alarming epidemic of youth e-cigarette use by creating historic enforcement actions on e-cigarette marketing. Receiving the competitive federal grant is a recognition of the University of Hawai‘i’s leadership on this national problem,” said Randall Holcombe, UH Cancer Center director.

Pokhrel received a three year $2.6 million grant in 2016, which focuses on e-cigarette marketing and tobacco product use behavior. The new grant will supplement this research.

The grant was also supported by the NCI and FDA Center for Tobacco Products (CTP) with funds coming from the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act. All of the project costs are financed with federal funds, the total anticipated amount is $1,385,787.


The University of Hawai'i Cancer Center through its various activities, cancer trial patients and their guests, and other visitors adds more than $54 million to the O'ahu economy. It is one of only 70 research institutions designated by the National Cancer Institute. Affiliated with the University of Hawai'i at Mānoa, the Center is dedicated to eliminating cancer through research, education, patient care and community outreach with an emphasis on the unique ethnic, cultural, and environmental characteristics of Hawai'i and the Pacific. Learn more at Like us on Facebook at Follow us on Twitter @UHCancerCenter.