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Electronic Cigarettes - The Research


Wondering what research has been done into electronic cigarettes? Wonder no longer, as in this article we give an overview of the most important research.

E-Cigarettes as a smoking cessation aid

No long term research has been done into e-cigarettes as a smoking cessation aid so we can't be certain it works, but initial results have been encouraging. In New Zealand, research has shown that e-cigarettes can increase the amount of nicotine in the blood and help reduce cravings.

Source: Health New Zealand

Meanwhile in Italy, Riccardo Polosa, Professor of Medicine at Catania University, carried out a study for the Italian Non-Smoking Association.

He chose 40 committed smokers - figured that if he chose smokers who wanted to quit it would skew the results.

The results? 55% of the 40 participants in his study were able to significantly reduce or eliminate the use of tobacco cigarettes by replacing them with electronic cigarettes.

It would be good to see the study following a larger number of people, but the initial results are encouraging.

In South Africa, an informal study involving 349 smokers concluded that 45% of the participants were able to completely quit using traditional cigarettes within two months of the start of the study.

Source: News 24

Again, the study isn't perfect. This wasn't a formal study, the results weren't published and 2 months isn't really long enough - perhaps that is why e-cigarette companies are not allowed to promote the device as a cessation aid. But the results are heading in the right direction.

Electronic vs Tobacco Cigarettes: Which is Safer?

Propylene glycol is the liquid contained in an electronic cigarette that creates vapor when heated. Studies conducted over a 70 year period related to the effects of propylene glycol on humans have consistently shown no adverse effects.

Vegerable glycerin is a compound found in electronic cigarettes that has also been used as a sugar substitute. As it has been used for human consumption, it is generally regarded to be safe.

Zachary Cahn and Professor Michael Siegel surveyed 16 different laboratory studies into the electronic cigarette.

Their results, published in the Journal of Public Health Policy, stated:

"Electronic cigarettes contain 1000 times less carcinogens than cigarettes have few if any chemicals that are likely to be a concern as a result are likely to be much safer."

Claims that the electronic cigarettes contain some of the same carcinogens as traditional cigarettes are countered with facts regarding the significantly reduced amount of such chemicals. Fore example, electronic cigarettes contain between 500 and 1,400 times less of the carcinogen tobacco-specific N-nitrosamines (TSNAs) than tobacco cigarettes.

Source: Palgreaves Journal

The study followed FDA research, which had found that the only carcinogen in e-liquid was thousands of times lower than those found in tobacco cigarettes.

Electronic Cigarettes and Health Improvement

Surveys of people that have switched from traditional cigarettes to electronic cigarettes have found an overall improvement in general health and stamina.

In one survey, over 90% of respondents report feeling healthier, and nearly all respondents that had experienced a cough prior to switching noticed an improvement in their ability to breathe. Approximately 75% of respondents felt better able to exercise.

Social Opinions Regarding Electronic Cigarettes

Unfortunately, the general public is not yet aware of the safety of the electronic cigarette as compared to traditional cigarettes. A survey indicated that over half of all respondents either thought electronic cigarettes were dangerous or were not sure of the health effects of this type of cigarette.

The importance of educating the public regarding the safety of electronic cigarettes is evident in a survey of those that have used the product for smoking cessation. The survey that found that more than 60% of all people that have used electronic cigarettes to replace traditional cigarettes would return to tobacco cigarettes if a ban on electronic cigarettes were enacted.