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New Study sponsored by Big Tobacco shows e-cigs 97% less toxic to lung cells

The British American Tobacco Company in conjunction with the UK’s Taylor and Francis Group is releasing a new scientific study with a dedicated focus on the potential toxicity of e-cigarette vapor on human lung cells.  What makes this study so different from many of the others sponsored by the FDA is that the sponsor, British American Tobacco, manufactures both conventional tobacco cigarettes and the electronic variety.

Real data using truly scientific research techniques

It also utilizes truly scientific research techniques involving laboratory experiments on real, human, lung cells.  In fact, the British American Tobacco research study even takes into consideration and actively discusses the dilution levels of e-liquids, a very important contributing factor that the FDA never seems to address.  For example, when the FDA surveys teenagers on vaping use, the agency always fails to ask whether the participants are vaping zero-nicotine e-liquids, which is often the case especially among non-smokers.


Furthermore, the FDA also ignores the need for truly scientific research techniques when performing their “research studies.”   Instead, the premier public health agency of the United States opts to write press releases focusing on nothing more than user surveys whose resulting data can easily be tweaked to suit just about any desired result.  It is by using these types of intentionally biased questionnaires that the FDA has successfully managed to manipulate the American People into mistakenly believing that vaping is a gateway to smoking, especially among teenagers.

The specific protocols of the scientific study

The white paper entitled Electronic cigarette aerosol induces significantly less cytotoxicity than tobacco smoke was published in Toxicology Mechanisms and Method DOI: 10.1080/15376516.2016. 1217112..  And according to at least one of the researchers on the project, Dr. Chris Proctor, Chief Scientific Officer at British American Tobacco, e-cig vapor is between 70 to 97 percent less toxic than conventional cigarette smoke, depending on the level of dilution of the related e-liquid.


 “We only saw signs of cytotoxicity from the e-cigarette aerosols when we used unrealistically high levels of vapor,” states Proctor in a recent press release. “The conservative approach we took means that it is unlikely that normal vaping use would yield cytotoxic effects, even at the low levels observed here.”

In a laboratory setting, the scientists exposed human lung cells to both conventional tobacco smoke and e-cig vapor. The paper mentions the use of something called a “neural red uptake assay,” which is apparently some type of colored dye used to identify which lung cells are alive, dying, or dead. The lung cells were exposed to the e-cig vapor and tobacco smoke for 60-minutes at a time, which is the estimated equivalent of how much time people engage in either vaping or smoking (or both) throughout a 24-hour period.  Even so, the paper calls sixty, uninterrupted minutes of lung cell exposure “relatively extreme compared to real-life human exposure,” the understanding being that toxicity levels are probably much less when traditional real-life vaping methods are being used. 

Why you won’t hear about the British American Tobacco study

The vaping industry probably won’t be hearing too much about this new British American Tobacco study, and neither will the American Public.  It’s not the sort of scientific research that goes instantly viral across social media, being tweeted and retweeted by various anti-tobacco groups.  In their eyes, vaping and smoking are one-in-the-same.  To have a major Big Tobacco company publicly denounce smoking as perhaps 97% more toxic than vaping is simply astonishing, and therefore, highly questionable.   Look for the FDA to ridicule these findings simply because the authors have strong ties to Big Tobacco, which is exactly why the results should be taken so seriously.



  • Really glad to see this. I like to see myself as a rational thinker – not buying everything I hear as gospel but not donning the tinfoil hat either. However, I have NEVER witnessed anything so blatantly obvious as Big Tobacco and Big Pharma’s ownership of the FDA. And never was it more obvious than when the FDA released its recommendations for ecig regulations. I was a two-pack a day smoker and I’ve taken exactly one draw from a cigarette in nearly two years. I could never have done that without e-cigs. Please someone tell me what could possibly be bad about that?? Common sense tells me that it is MUCH better for me to inhale something other than carbon monooxide into my lungs. Does it really take a brain surgeon to have the mental capacity to figure that out?!

    Bottom line – Big Pharma prefers us to be sick. A healthy population means less profits, fewer pharma jobs, etc. Big Tobacco is panicking over the loss of profits. If there were ever a “WAKE UP AMERICA” moment, this should be it.

  • I’m glad they are researching things fairly outside the land of the “Oppressed and lied to”. I used to smoke and I can feel that I’m healthier even without any studies needed. The USA wants us to Vote their way or shut up, and most importantly never question the ways they make money. It’s been about 6 months and I’ve smoked one cigarette during a weak moment when I broke my ecig. I used to smoke about 15 cigarettes a day. Now I can taste, smell, and most importantly take full deep breaths. I thank the E-cig industry and community. Shame on anyone who values profit over people.

    Jack White

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