Electronic cigarettes are lauded by many as a healthier alternative to smoking, and you can find thousands of testimonials written by people who say e-cigarettes have helped them stop smoking and feel healthier. Still, there are e-cig critics out there who say there is no scientific proof that e-cigarettes are any safer than smoking. In the past, that may have been somewhat true, but now there is finally a study that ecig supporters can point to when such arguments arise.
The Queen Mary University Study
The Wolfson Institute of Preventive Medicine at London’s Queen Mary University recently published the findings of their landmark study in Cancer Prevention Research, a peer-reviewed medical journal. For the study, the researchers recruited 40 middle aged men and women who were eager to quit smoking but had been unsuccessful doing so at least two times before. Every study participant was given a vaporizer pen and a particular e-juice to use in place of cigarettes. The scientists studied blood and urine samples at the start and end of the study, looking for levels of two toxins:
Carbon monoxide, a highly toxic gas that is found in high levels of cigarette smoke that is proven to cause cancer and heart diseases. To see more about Carbon Monoxide, click here.
Acrolein, a compound found in vegetable glycerin e-cig liquid and cigarette smoke that has the ability to irritate the lungs and interfere with the respiratory system’s ability to protect itself from germs. To read more about it, see here.
Interpreting the Data
The Queen Mary University research revealed that:
All study participants who used the electronic cigarettes given to them had lower levels of both acrolein and carbon monoxide in their bodies
People who used e-cigarettes exclusively during the study had 80% less of the substances in their systems
People who used the e-cig given to them only part of the time had 52% less carbon monoxide and 60% less acrolein in their bodies
Based on this data, the scientists theorize that electronic cigarettes decrease exposure to toxins found in cigarettes.
What We Still Don’t Know
Although the Queen Mary University study shows that vapor pen usage instead of cigarettes is likely beneficial, there is more research needed. Specifically, studies need to be conducted to find out if:
Results would be the same with people who didn’t wish to quit
Results would be the same with people who had never tried to quit before
Results would be the same with all electronic cigarettes
Results would be the same with all e-juice products
The answers to these questions may come sooner rather than later, as many other studies are underway regarding the safety of e-cigarettes.