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Mice are vaping at Weber State - and for good reason

Mice are vaping at Weber State vape kutv (6).png
Mice are vaping at Weber State. (KUTV)

Researchers at Weber State University’s neuroscience lab eager to assess the risks of vaping are looking for answers in mice.

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They’re tracking the health changes in mice on a twice-daily vaping regimen. The process involves placing the rodents in an airtight box that is filled with commercially available vaping products, then slowly vented.

Senior undergrad Patrick Garrett says:

Just like humans, some animals like it, some don’t. Some will climb up onto the shelf and wait for the administration and some will go into the corner and try to get away from it.

Garrett is one of 10 students working on the project under the direction of Dr. Todd Hillhouse.

After vaping, the mice are placed in a box equipped with infrared sensors that track their activity level.

Researchers say mice have lower activity levels following inhalation and exhibit signs of anxiety, regardless of whether there was nicotine present in the vape that was used.

They say their testing has also shown that low concentrations of nicotine are just as addictive in mice as high concentrations of nicotine.

Once the behavior study is completed, a different team at Weber State will harvest tissue samples from some of the mice that will be examined for any sign of respiratory abnormalities.

“It’ll give us a good start to see how we can translate to humans and what we can start to look at in humans,” Garrett said.