New 2-year vaping study shows no adverse effects of the heart or lungs

After studying a control group of over 200 vapers for a full 2-years, scientists now claim that vaping causes no adverse health effects either short- or long-term.  Furthermore, they also state that the frequency and negative health effects from smoking steadily and continuously decline from the moment that smokers transition to vaping.

Anti-tobacco activists often complain of the lack of long-term scientific research proving that vaping and e-cigarettes are less harmful than smoking.  And this latest study might not gain their overwhelming acceptance of e-cigs as a tobacco harm reduction too either.  While the research was funded by Fontem Ventures, a subsidiary of Imperial Brands tobacco company which also manufactures Blu closed-system e-cigs, the research was conducted by an independent laboratory and appears to be sound.

Overview of the 2-year vaping study

The study entitled Evaluation of the safety profile of an electronic vapour product used for two years by smokers in a real-life setting is published on the Science Direct website.  The scientists solicited the help of some 209 volunteers to participate in the 2-year project by asking them to switch to vaping while allowing for the monitoring and evaluation of numerous biomarkers.  Assessments were taken at Months 1, 2, 3, 6, 9, 12, 15, 18, 21 and 24.

  • 209 smokers participated in the study.
  • 102 of the 209 completed the entire 2-year trial.
  • The remaining portion tried the e-cig device at least once but did not qualify for inclusion in the published findings. Eleven were withdrawn due to health issues unrelated to the vaping trail.
  • Participants were given the same Puritane closed-system vaping device for use during the 2-year trial.
  • Only tobacco-flavored e-liquids were initially provided until Month 3, after which a Menthol alternative was provided.
  • Scientists monitored the following biomarkers:
    • Standard vital signs including:
      • Heart rate
      • Blood pressure
      • Body weight
    • Lung and respiratory functions measured via spirometry
    • eCO levels
    • Blood carboxyhaemoglobin (COHb) levels
    • Nicotine exposure levels
    • Exposure levels to toxins and other constituents commonly associated with cigarette smoke
    • Nicotine withdrawal symptoms
    • Desire to relapse into smoking
    • Urinary nicotine levels
  • Adverse effects from vaping including:
    • Sore throat
    • Headaches
    • Coughing
    • Nasopharyngitis

After the 2-year study was complete, the scientists found no serious adverse health effects from vaping. Furthermore, the researchers also confirmed no signs of heart or respiratory difficulties at the end of the trail.  Some participants complained of occasional headaches, coughing, and sore throats during the beginning stages of transition, but these withdrawal symptoms seemed to quickly fade. 

“To our knowledge, our study is the only one so far that monitored urinary BoE over 2 years of EVP use in a real-life setting, showing a sustained reduced exposure to HPHCs, with sustained nicotine levels close to baseline. Exposure to HPHCs had a tendency to increase from Month 23 to Month 24, which is consistent with the observed CC consumption towards EoS. This increase is likely to be a sign of compliance loosening when the end of the study approaches. In EVP-compliant subjects, exposure to HPHCs decreased from baseline to Month 1, and stayed slightly lower than in the whole population throughout the study, which is also consistent with CC consumption data in that group of subjects.”

Although the Fontem research is one of the first to involve such a lengthy timeline, the findings are supported by an early study published in 2017 by Dr. Riccardo Polosa of the University of Catania, Italy in collaboration with scientists from the University of California-Los Angeles.  The Polosa study followed a group of vapers for 3.5 years and involved the monitoring of many of the same biomarkers.  Both studies indicate similar findings, namely that long-term vaping produces no measurable adverse health effects to the lungs, heart, or otherwise. 


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