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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.


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