A new study investigating cancer risks from using electronic cigarettes found they eliminate much of the harms associated with smoking.
Researchers from the University of St. Andrews in Scotland released research this month in the journal Tobacco Control showing the cancer potency of vaping is less than 1 percent the cancer potency of traditional cigarettes. The scientists, lead by Dr. William E. Stephens, compared aerosol emissions to develop lifetime cancer risk figures for the products for comparison, reports Lung Disease News.
The researchers weighed the risks of cigarettes against vaping devices, heat-not-burn products and medicinal nicotine inhalers. Cigarettes held the highest risk of cancer, followed by heat-not-burn products like the iQOS device released last year by Philip Morris International. Vaping devices have cancer potency closer to that from using a medicinal nicotine inhaler, though still carry a higher risk.
A minority of vaping devices studied produced much higher cancer potencies than the average e-cigarette, however this was linked to carbon compounds released when a large degree of power is applied to the device’s heating coil. E-cigarettes set to a normal power level did not release large amounts of these compounds.
“Optimal combinations of device settings, liquid formulation and vaping behavior normally result in e-cigarette emissions with much less carcinogenic potency than tobacco smoke, notwithstanding there are circumstances in which the cancer risks of e-cigarette emissions can escalate, sometimes substantially,” the researchers concluded in the study. “These circumstances are usually avoidable when the causes are known.”
These research findings add to the growing body of medical evidence showing vaping is a much safer alternative to smoking. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration recently acknowledge the health benefits of e-cigarettes and are now encouraging smokers to transition to vaping to reduce their health risks.
A study released Aug. 16 by researchers at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health and the Rutgers School of Public Health reveals that vapers who use an e-cigarette on a daily basis vastly strengthen their chances of quitting over those relying on the patches and gum approved by the FDA.
The researchers found more than half of daily vapers quit smoking within the past five years. Only 28 percent of smokers that did not try a vaping device were successful in their efforts to quit. In countries where vaping is still banned or greatly restricted, smoking rates are actually increasing. Australia is experiencing a historic surge in the number of smokers, despite having the “most expensive cigarette prices in the world.”
A study from the University of California released July 26 showed that a record number of Americans are ditching cigarettes with the aid of vaping devices. The rate of Americans quitting smoking jumped from 4.5 percent between 2010 and 2011 to 5.6 percent between 2014 and 2015.
That means roughly 350,000 smokers gave up the habit between 2014 and 2015.