A new study was published this April in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. Researchers from Germany evaluated the cytotoxic potential of e-cigarette vapor, in other words how dangerous vapor may be to the human cells. Unlike most studies of this sort, the German research team compared the effects of e-cigarette vapor with its real competitor regular tobacco smoke. Despite the fact that comparison is what most people are looking for in a study, most that focus on e-cigarettes seem to conveniently leave out any analysis of their combustible counterparts.
The study aimed to assess the safety of e-cig vapor inside the human body. The abstract for the study states: “Besides chemical studies of the content of electronic cigarette liquids or vapour, little research has been conducted on their in vitro effects. Smoking is an important risk factor for cardiovascular disease and cigarette smoke has well-established cytotoxic effects on myocardial cells. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the cytotoxic potential of the vapour.” The study analyzed 20 different e-liquid samples. The researchers compared puffs of e-cigarette vapor to puffs of regular tobacco smoke and the subsequent effect on the human system.
The study, not surprisingly, showed that e-cigarettes were far less cytotoxic, or toxic to living cells, as regular cigarettes. The study states: “all Electronic Cigarette vapour extracts were significantly less cytotoxic compared to Cigarette Smoke extract.”
This is not new news, in fact this study is just confirming the old news that we already knew. And guess what you knew it too… simply put: E-Cigarettes are safer.
The cytotoxicity level of e-cigarettes was also tested back in 2013. This initial study was one of the first, but used culture analysis to determine the toxicity level of e-cigarette vapor. Like the more recent research suggests, the findings from the 2013 study show clearly that e-cigarettes are far less harmful on living human cells. Again in 2013, another study published also in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health took the research from the initial study a step further and continued to show a lesser effect on the health of living cells when they are exposed to e-cigarettes versus regular smokes.
That is not to say there isn’t some risk of cell damage. E-cigarettes are not completely non-toxic to your system according to the findings. The study did actually detect some presence of cytotoxicity, though much lower than anything in traditional tobacco smoke. The findings, however, may be compromised due to the methodology of the study. The study analyzed e-cigarettes that were puffed over and over again, at regular intervals of about 7 to 10 seconds apart. As most vapers know can easily lead to a device getting too hot. When an e-cigarette is too hot it can begin to release those toxic chemicals. Dr. Farsalinos is a well-known e-cigarette expert and blogger; in addition he was involved in the first two studies on cytotoxicity cited here. He also believes that some of the results of the most recent study might be compromised as a result of overheating the device. In his blog he writes: “I insist that overheating may have been an issue with such a short inter-puff interval, which could result in the production of aldehydes.” While it appears the results might be a bit flawed, the studies are still revealing the base truth that when they compare e-cigs to regular tobacco, the cytotoxic level is so much lower that it is scientifically significant and thus should be given notice to.
The real benefit of studies like these it they open up a level playing field to giving people a true idea of the effectiveness and health benefit of e-cigarettes. By comparing vaping with its real competitor, smoking, you are able to give people a clear picture of the effect of the choice they are making when they decide to switch to vaping. Dr. Farsalinos also points out the benefit of allowing a comparison between e-cigs and regular smokes, “In many other recent studies the authors avoided any comparison with tobacco cigarettes, leading to erroneous conclusions about adverse effects from e-cigarette use in smokers, which were completely irrelevant to the study purpose and methodology.” Allowing for the logical comparison opens the door to results that will actually mean something to the person who is still trying to decide if e-cigarettes are right for them.
Those who have already switched to vaping are no stranger to the idea that e-cigarettes are a smarter choice. It’s actually rather humorous that there is such a push to scientifically prove their worth when it’s so obvious to millions of people around the globe. Most vapers I know feel so much better, not to mention smell better, as a result of their switch to e-cigs that they do not need some study telling them… they feel it every day. They can breathe better, they have more energy and they are overall happier and healthier as a result.
Another study showing how e-cigarettes are less dangerous than regular cigarettes is really kind of just reiterating the obvious at this point, but when a product is this good, and stands to make such a difference, someone has got to shout it from the rooftops.