A new peer-reviewed vaping study published in the Journal of Toxicology Mechanisms and Methods suggests trading tobacco for e-cigarettes could be as equally beneficial to your health as quitting smoking cold turkey. A group of smokers who switched to vaping for just five days were found to have similar levels of harmful and potentially harmful constituents, or HPHCs, in their blood as smokers who abstained from nicotine products for the same period of time.
According to the FDA, HPHCs are responsible for most smoking-related illnesses, so researchers believe that transitioning from tobacco to e-cigs could majorly reduce a person’s risks for certain cancers and other maladies.
Clinical Trial Results Support Vaping as Safer Alternative
A total of 105 adult smokers were split into three groups and followed over a period of five days. The first group agreed to exclusively use e-cigs while the second group used both tobacco and e-cigs. The third group abstained from both smoking and vaping. Researchers analyzed fifteen biomarkers in each participant for HPHCs at the beginning and end of the study. The HPHCs tested for included aldehydes, carbon monoxide and tobacco-related nitrosamines, which have all been linked to health complications.
Vaping vs. Smoking: Harmful and Potentially Harmful Constituents
The results for the group that only used e-cigs were practically identical to those in the group that neither smoked nor vaped. For participants in both groups, eight of nine biomarkers tested from urine samples consistently revealed a significant decrease in HPHCs after abstaining from tobacco.
Blood levels of carbon monoxide for participants in both groups also dropped by more than 75 percent while levels of acrolein, benzene and 1,3-butadiene decreased by 80 percent. Levels of tobacco-related nitrosamines diminished by up to 98 percent in the abstinent group and up to 93 percent in the e-cig-exclusive group. Measurements of exhaled CO fell by almost 90 percent for both groups.
The dual-use group also experienced improvements, presumably because they were smoking less than they normally do. Dual users exhaled between 27-32 percent less CO after they started using e-cigs, and their levels of other HPHCs decreased “proportional to the reduction in number of cigarettes smoked.” Therefore, even substituting e-cigs for tobacco every now and then seems to be beneficial to smokers who can’t quit.
A Potentially Less Harmful Alternative to Smoking
The study was funded by Fontem Ventures, the company that markets blu brand e-cigarettes. The study authors note that their findings were consistent with prior Fontem-sponsored research, which found that blu e-cigs produce 95 percent less HPHCs than tobacco cigarettes. Another Fontem Ventures study revealed that e-cig vapor, unlike tobacco smoke, doesn’t diminish indoor air quality. Further investigation to measure how reduced exposure to HPHCs practically impacts health outcomes is expected to begin in the near future.
Marc Michelsen, who is the Senior Vice President of Corporate Affairs and Communications at Fontem Ventures, stated, “These latest findings are encouraging in that they support the results of other third party studies, which conclude that e-cigarettes offer smokers a less harmful alternative to tobacco.” The other research he references includes a 2015 evidence-based report on e-cigs from Public Health England, which became the first public health organization to publicly acknowledge the possibility that vaping is significantly safer than smoking.