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Vaping for 1 week reduces carcinogen exposure by 57%, says study

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A new e-cig study led by Dr. Maciej Goniewicz of the Roswell Park Cancer Institute in Buffalo, New York, indicates that vaping for only 7-days reduces carcinogen exposure by up to 57 percent. Smokers who vape for two weeks could see their scores plummet by as much as 64 percent on average.

The primary objective of the Goniewicz study was to identify the measurable effects that nicotine may or may not have on the human body. The scientists already knew that both combustible cigarettes and the e-liquids of vaping devices contain nicotine, but conventional cigarettes also contain dangerous levels of tar and addictive chemicals. E-juices are essentially comprised of only propylene glycol, vegetable glycerin, flavorings, and nicotine extract. Since e-cigs are tar- and chemical-free, the researchers wanted to determine if vaping is just as carcinogenic as smoking.

Overview of the Roswell Park vaping study

The Roswell Park study entitled Exposure to Nicotine and Selected Toxicants in Cigarette Smokers Who Switched to Electronic Cigarettes: A Longitudinal Within-Subjects Observational Study is published in the Oxford Academic Nicotine and Tobacco Research. The scientists began by soliciting the help of some twenty volunteers. All were smokers asked to transition to vaping for a period of two-weeks or longer. As the study progressed, urinary samples were collected and a series of biomarkers were monitored, including the following.

(17) carcinogens commonly identified in combustible tobacco cigarettes

(13) carcinogens commonly identified in cigarette smoke

(7) metabolites commonly identified in nicotine

(1) nitrosamine commonly identified in tobacco cigarettes

(8) Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs), including

  • 1,3-Butadiene
  • Benzene
  • Ethylene oxide
  • Propylene oxide
  • Acrylonitrile
  • Crotonaldehyde
  • Acrylamide
  • Acrolein

(4) polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, including

  • Phenanthrene
  • Fluorene
  • Pyrene
  • Naphthalene

“In total, 45% of participants reported complete abstinence from cigarette smoking at 2 weeks, while 55% reported continued smoking. Levels of total nicotine and some polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon metabolites did not change after switching from tobacco to e-cigarettes. All other biomarkers significantly decreased after 1 week of using e-cigarettes (p < .05). After 1 week, the greatest percentage reductions in biomarkers levels were observed for metabolites of 1,3-butadiene, benzene, and acrylonitrile. Total NNAL, a metabolite of NNK, declined by 57% and 64% after 1 and 2 weeks, respectively, while 3-hydroxyfluorene levels declined by 46% at week 1, and 34% at week 2.”

The biomarkers and urinary samples were evaluated at 1-week and 2-week intervals. Not only did the researchers identify the dramatic reductions in carcinogenic intake, they also estimate that switching to vaping gives the smoker a 61 percent chance of quitting smoking long-term.

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