Four E-Cig Studies You Should Know About

E-cigarettes have been around for less than seven years. Therefore you cannot expect the wealth of research for e-cigarettes, that is available for tobacco smoking. The medical profession is by and large holding its opinion on electronic cigarettes till the issue has been studied more closely and over a longer period of time. However, many of the studies that have been conducted during the last few years indicate that vaping with electronic cigarettes is less harmful than tobacco smoking. For your ready reference we summarize the findings of four such studies and will continue to add to the list as more become available.

 Electronic cigarette: a possible substitute for cigarette dependence

The study first pointed out that direct smoking cessation treatments are not showing any results. Therefore to focus on lower risk substitutes with potential for reduction in nicotine intake is worthwhile. Electronic cigarettes are one such substitute. Because e-cigarettes use vaporization rather than combustion and operate at significantly lower temperatures nearly all of smoking’s harmful chemicals are eliminated. The study estimated that the death risk would be reduced to 1% as a result. The study said that e-cigarettes score over other nicotine replacement therapies because it simulates the smoking process and therefore smokers wanting to cut down were able to persist with it for longer periods. The authors also referred to recent uncontrolled studies that have reported that a certain number of smokers have quit using electronic cigarettes.

Authors: P. Caponnetto, C. Russo, C.M. Bruno, A. Alamo, M.D. Amaradio, R. Polosa.

Publication: Monaldi Arch Chest Dis 2013; 79: 1, 12-19


Electronic cigarettes as a harm reduction strategy for tobacco control: A step forward or a repeat of past mistakes?

After reviewing the evidence, the authors aver that electronic cigarettes are a much safer alternative to tobacco cigarettes. They also conclude that e-cigarettes actually contribute to smoking cessation. They therefore recommend that e-cigarettes be used alongside traditional pharmacotherapy for smoking cessation. The authors are aware that the tobacco industry had engaged in deception and manipulation, which led to the erosion of public support for harm reduction. But it would be tragic to ignore a product with success potential based on past mistake by others. The authors feel that harm reduction has to be looked at afresh and looked at positively. The authors are not opposing a regulatory framework for electronic cigarettes. In fact, they state that regulation would add creditability to the product. They oppose outright banning of e-cigarettes. They feel that it would be ironic if a fuss is made over e-cigs, when tobacco cigarettes are being sold freely.

Authors: Zachary Cahn nd Michael Siegel

Publication: Journal of Public Health Policy 9 December 2010


Peering through the mist: systematic review of what the chemistry of contaminants in electronic cigarettes tells us about health risks

The study concludes that knowledge about chemistry of liquids and aerosols associated with electronic cigarettes indicates that there is no evidence that vaping warrants health concerns. Exposures of bystanders are likely to minuscule and pose no apparent concern. These conclusions were reached studying more than 9,000 observations available in peer-reviewed and grey literature. The comparisons to existing standards were conducted under “worst case” assumptions about both chemical content of aerosol and liquids as well as behavior of vapers.

Author: Igor Burstyn

Publication: BMC Public Health 2014, 14:18


The scientific foundation for tobacco harm reduction, 2006-2011

The study makes some interesting conclusions. The first is that e-cigarette users are not exposed to the many toxicants, carcinogens and other harmful products formed when tobacco is burned. The study refers to laboratory studies that have detected trace concentrations of some contaminants, but remarks that these are being overcome by improved quality control. The second observation is that some clinical trials have shown that e-cigarettes deliver only small doses of nicotine compared with conventional cigarettes. The third reason for the advocacy of e-cigs for tobacco harm reduction is that e-cigarette use emulates successfully the cigarette handling rituals. This produces suppression of craving and withdrawal that is over and above that is attributable to nicotine delivery. The study sees in e-cigarettes one of the greatest public health breakthroughs in human history.

Author: Brad Rodu

Publication: Harm Reduction Journal 2011; 8: 19.