New testing shows dual usage may be riskier than previously thought

New research involving urine testing of vapers, smokers, dual users, and non-vapers/non-smokers is indicating some rather interesting results concerning comparative toxicities.  Led by Dr. Maciej Goniewicz of the Roswell Park Cancer Center, the study compared the urinary analysis of some 5105 participants.  Biomarkers were evaluated for measurable levels of nicotine metabolites, lead, naphthalene, cadmium, acrylonitrile, pyrene, acrylamide, acrolein, and tobacco-specific nitrosamine 4, among other toxins. 

As one might expect, the participants who had remained smoke- and vapor-free scored the lowest levels of metallic and other toxicities while the vaping-only group scored just slightly higher. 

“Compared with exclusive e-cigarette users, never users had 19% to 81% significantly lower concentrations of biomarkers of exposure to nicotine, TSNAs, some metals (eg, cadmium and lead), and some VOCs (including acrylonitrile)…
“Exclusive e-cigarette users showed 10% to 98% significantly lower concentrations of biomarkers of exposure, including TSNAs, PAHs, most VOCs, and nicotine, compared with exclusive cigarette smokers; concentrations were comparable for metals and 3 VOCs.”

Strangely, the highest levels of some toxicities were not associated with the smoking-only participants but rather with the dual usage group.  In fact, only-smokers displayed 10-36 percent lower concentrations in some of the measurable statistical categories compared to those of dual users.

“Exclusive cigarette users showed 10% to 36% lower concentrations of several biomarkers than dual users. Frequency of cigarette use among dual users was positively correlated with nicotine and toxicant exposure.”

The Roswell study entitled Comparison of Nicotine and Toxicant Exposure in Users of Electronic Cigarettes and Combustible Cigarettes, is published on the JAMA Network.  Lead scientists Dr. Goniewicz notes that while the increased levels of some toxicities in dual users is somewhat surprising, further research is needed to determine if they cause a significant health risk.  Going forward, the research team hopes to conduct additional studies which simultaneously analyze for possible signs of physical health concerns, as well.

Is dual use better than smoking? 

In the past, some vaping advocates and professional advocacy organizations may have taken issue with the notion that vaping only part-time does not provide at least some health benefits to the dual user.  This position seems to be based on good, old-fashioned common sense.

However, Dr. Goniewicz is not the typical anti-vaping researcher.  His past research is often lauded by many within the vaping community.  Therefore, the findings of this most recent research paper are worth at least a cursory review.  For example, an August 216 observational study conducted by the Goniewicz team proved that switching to vaping from smoking results in “substantially reduced” exposure to multiple tobacco-related carcinogens. 

Regardless, the message of this latest vaping study is abundantly clear.  For smokers considering a switch to vaping as an alternative to conventional nicotine replacement therapies like the patch or nicotine gums, the switch must be 100 percent.  Dual usage is not recommended.  Commit to the vape, avoid relapse, and never look back. 

Related Article:  Dr. Maciej Goniewicz: Carcinogen exposure via vaping is ‘substantially reduced’

(Image courtesy of Shutterstock)

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published