Review of E-Cigarette Studies Concludes E-Cigs Are Less Harmful Thank Tobacco Cigarettes August 08 2014
Posted by: Vranks on August 1, 2014 Under: E-Cigarette Studies
According to a review of 81 electronic cigarette studies conducted by an international team of healthcare experts and tobacco researchers, electronic cigarettes are much less harmful, if at all, to users and bystanders, when compared to tobacco cigarettes. The long-term effects of electronic cigarettes on human health may still be unknown, but after analyzing the data we have on them so far, a team of reputed researchers has concluded they are a lot safer to use than conventional cigarettes. “If there are any risks, these will be many times lower than the risks of smoking tobacco,” said senior author Dr. Hayden McRobbie, from the Wolfson Institute of Preventive Medicine at the Queen Mary University of London. “We need to think carefully about how these products are regulated. What we found is that there is no evidence that these products should be regulated as strictly as tobacco, or even more strictly than tobacco.” Scientists examined a total of 81 e-cigarette studies that focused on general safety concerns regarding e-cigarette use, particularly chemicals present in the e-liquids and vapor, as well as their popularity among smokers and non-smokers. After analyzing how the studies were conducted and their results, researchers concluded that the benefits of using electronic cigarettes greatly outweigh the risks. They found no evidence that electronic cigarette vapor is harmful to users or bystanders, or that e-cigarettes act as a gateway to smoking for young people, as e-cig opponents frequently claim. In fact, the data suggested that there has been a drop in the number of child smokers at the same time that e-cigarette sales started to grow. “The evidence we currently have is clear: e-cigarettes should be allowed to compete against conventional cigarettes in the marketplace. Health care professionals may advise smokers who are unwilling to cease nicotine use to switch to e-cigarettes,” said Professor Peter Hajek, at the UK Center for Tobacco and Alcohol Studies at the Queen Mary University of London. “Current evidence suggests that there is a potential for smokers to reduce their health risks if electronic cigarettes are used in place of tobacco cigarettes and are considered a step toward ending all tobacco and nicotine use,” said fellow study researcher Thomas Eissenberg, co-director of the Center for the Study of Tobacco Products at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond. The researchers who conducted the e-cigarette study review cautioned that the effects of e-cigs on people suffering from various respiratory conditions are unknown, and that even for otherwise healthy users, there may be some long-term risks. “However, based on the data available regarding the toxicant content of EC liquid and aerosols, long-term use of EC, compared to smoking, is likely to be much less, if at all, harmful to users or bystanders,” their report says. Based on their findings, the scientists urged policy-makers around the world to be mindful of how they regulate electronic cigarettes. This is not the final list of risks, others may emerge. But regulators need to be mindful of crippling the e-cigarette market and by doing so failing to give smokers access to these safer products that could save their lives. If harsh regulations are put in place now, we will damage public health on a big scale,” Professor Hajek warned. In their opinion, regulation should ensure easy access to electronic cigarettes so they can compete with potentially deadly analogs. The large-scale research was partly funded by the US National Institutes of Health and published in the journal Addiction.