Posted by Christopher Malphrus on 3/26/2013
to eCig News
The eCigarette Study We’ve Been Waiting For
Finally, a team of curious and skilled doctors and scientists has looked at the electronic cigarette in a rational and fair way. A new study published online at the beginning of the month has shown that when you test for chemicals inhaled by electronic cigarette users, you get fewer chemicals than if you smoke cigarettes. To most ecigarette users, this is probably a no-brainer. But the resistance of government and anti-smoking groups has focused on the lack of knowledge about the effects of ecigs. Now there’s a bit more information that says electronic cigarettes are not nearly as dangerous to your health as tobacco cigarettes.
Toxins and Carcinogens
The study used an electronic inhalation machine rather than human lungs to draw on e-cigarettes as well as a nicotine inhaler, available at the pharmacy as a smoking cessation device. The idea was to capture the vapors of 12 different ecigarette brands and one inhaler to compare the levels of certain carcinogens and toxins which are known to exist in tobacco cigarettes. There are four groups of potentially harmful compounds that were tested for: heavy metals, volatile organic compounds (VOCs), carbonyls, and nitrosamines.
Of 15 carbonyls that are present in tobacco smoke, only four were found in ecigs and three were found in the inhaler. A couple of the ecigarette brands tested at almost the same levels of certain carbonyls as the inhaler, and none of the ecigs were even close to the levels of each compound as tobacco smoke. Of 11 VOCs, only two were ound in ecigs, and at such low levels as to render them almost undetectable. Out of 12 heavy metals, only three were found in ecigs, the same as the ones found in the inhaler, and at very low rates.
“Our findings are consistent with the idea that substituting tobacco cigarettes with e-cigarettes may substantially reduce exposure to selected tobacco-specific toxicants.” (1)
Across the board, the levels of toxins in ecigarettes and the inhaler were nowhere near the levels that they are found in tobacco smoke. For one toxin, acetaldehyde, tobacco smoke has 450 times the amount per volume, compared with ecigarette vapor.
The conclusion of the study’s authors is that this significant difference warrants further research into the efficacy of using electronic cigarettes as a replacement for people who simply cannot or will not quit smoking.
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