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Study shows one week of vaping reduces carcinogen exposure by 57%

Special interest groups often attempt to mislead the public by claiming that vaping is just as carcinogenic as smoking, but the scientific evidence proves otherwise.  One such study has even confirmed that within one week of transitioning to vaping while remaining completely smoke-free, the vaper can experience an up to 57 percent reduction in multiple cancer-causing compounds.

Still, public health organizations like the U.S. Food and Drug Association (FDA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) refuse to publicly endorse vaping as a substantially less harmful alternative to smoking, often while citing the need for “further research.”  Well, the research is in, thanks to a team of UK scientists.

The study is entitled Exposure to Nicotine and Selected Toxicants in Cigarette Smokers Who Switched to Electronic Cigarettes: A Longitudinal Within-Subjects Observational Study, and it is published for the world to see on the Oxford Academic Nicotine and Tobacco Research website.  The research team led by Dr. Maciej Goniewicz of the Roswell Park Cancer Institute uncovered some rather remarkable findings even though they seemingly stumbled upon them almost by accident.

The Goniewicz vaping and carcinogen study

The original objective of the study was to evaluate the health effects of nicotine on the human body.  They specifically wanted to determine the possible differences between vaping and smoking.  After gathering a group of twenty smoking volunteers, the researchers then measured their urinary output for a series of biomarkers which include the following

  • (17) tobacco-related carcinogenic biomarkers
  • (13) primary carcinogens commonly associated with tobacco smoke
  • (7) nicotine-related metabolites
  • (1) tobacco-specific nitrosamine
  • (8) VOCs (volatile organic compounds), including:
    • Propylene oxide
    • Benzene
    • Ethylene oxide
    • Crotonaldehyde
    • Acrylonitrile
    • Acrylamide
    • Acrolein
    • 1,3-Butadiene
  • (4) polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, including:
    • Pyrene 
    • Phenanthrene
    • Naphthalene
    • Fluorene


After the initial biomarker measurements were taken, Goniewicz and his team then asked the twenty smokers to switch to vaping for a period of two weeks.  At the one-week and two-week milestones, the biomarkers were again measured for the same series of compounds.  What the scientists discovered is that carcinogenic levels plummeted by 57% after only 7-days of daily vaping, and the plunged by 64 percent at the end of Week 2. 

“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, a whopping 45% of the twenty smokers in the control group were able to remain completely smoke-free throughout the entire two-week study.  The fact that Goniewicz includes this information in the research conclusions is evidence of his team’s commitment to full transparency, unlike other easily debunked essays published by less than reputable anti-vaping organizations. 

But Goniewicz isn’t alone.  Other vaping studies have also shown similar reductions in carcinogenic and other toxicity levels.  One such study published by scientists from the University College London and King's College of the United Kingdom even suggests that vaping is significantly less toxic than their Big Pharma competitors, like “the patch” and nicotine gum. 


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