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Study shows carcinogen exposure reduced by 64% after 2 weeks of vaping

Anti-vaping lobbyists often try to confuse the American public by implying that the vapor from e-cigs is filled with just as many carcinogens and other toxins as cigarette smoke.  However, research conducted from scientists around the world consistently indicates the opposite.  In fact, a recent study conducted right here in USA proves that smokers who switch to vaping for as little as two weeks will decrease their exposure to carcinogens by as much as 64 percent. 

The research is directed by Dr. Maciej Goniewicz, a tobacco control specialist and scientist from the Roswell Park Cancer Institute.  The study entitled Exposure to Nicotine and Selected Toxicants in Cigarette Smokers Who Switched to Electronic Cigarettes: A Longitudinal Within-Subjects Observational Study.is based on the original objective of determining the possible positive and/or negative effects of nicotine on the human body.  What the researchers discovered was far more insightful.

Overview of the Roswell Park vaping study

The Goniewicz team began by selecting twenty smokers who agreed to switch completely to vaping for a minimum of two-weeks.  Throughout the course of the experiment, specific biomarkers of each participant were collected and analyzed, such as blood samples and urinary output.  The idea was to analyze these samples for levels of nicotine and compare them to the other biomarkers including heart rate, blood pressure, and respiratory factors.


But along the way, the researchers also decided to monitor for multiple carcinogens, volatile organic compounds (VOCs) hydrocarbons, and other toxins associated with tobacco cigarettes, including the following:

  • (7) metabolites associated with nicotine and nicotine byproducts
  • (13) carcinogens commonly found in the smoke of combustible cigarette
  • (17) carcinogens commonly found in tobacco mixtures of combustible cigarettes
  • (1) nitrosamine associated with combustible cigarettes
  • (4) polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, including:
    • Fluorene
    • Naphthalene
    • Phenanthrene
    • Pyrene
  • (8) Volatile Organic Compounds, including:
    • Acrylamide
    • Acrylonitrile
    • Acrolein
    • Benzene
    • Crotonaldehyde
    • Ethylene oxide
    • Propylene oxide
    • 1,3-Butadiene

After analyzing the biomarkers samples of each participant at the beginning, end, and midway through the two-week transitional period, the scientists discovered a 57 percent reduction in carcinogenic exposure after only 7-days of vaping.  After two weeks, the rates plummeted to a whopping 64 percent reduction on average.

“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.”

To be clear, only twenty smokers participated in the Goniewicz study, and only 45 percent of these volunteers were successful in completing the experiment.  The other 55 percent either dropped out, were expelled for some reason, or simply relapsed back into smoking, which meant an automatic disqualification. 

This 45 percent figure is, in itself, extremely noteworthy.  In any other vaping study, the scientists might highlight this single data point as a significant scientific conclusion.  After all, a 45 percent success rate for vaping as a smoking cessation tool is nothing to sneeze at.

But Goniewicz seems to be more interested in the carcinogenic content of e-cigs, which is admirable.  Here’s hoping he will continue his research in the future, perhaps with an even larger control group of participants.  To review the Roswell Park vaping study in its entirely, it is published on the Oxford Academic Nicotine and Tobacco Research website.


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