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UK e-cig study: Vaping reduces cancer-causing toxins by up to 97 percent

Posted by Matt Rowland on

A recent study funded by Cancer Research UK indicates that vaping can save lives by reducing the levels of cancer-causing toxins in the body by as much as 97 percent compared to smoking.  But there’s a catch.  Vapers must give up smoking completely if they want to achieve the desired health benefits.  No dual use is allowed.

The e-cig study began by monitoring certain biomarkers of some 181 volunteers.  Some were current smokers.  Others were former smokers.  Throughout the course of the study, the team of UK researchers led by Dr. Lion Shahab asked each of the participants about their smoking and vaping habits. 

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They were asked whether they were engaging in dual use (interchanging between smoking and vaping) and whether they were simultaneously using any sort of nicotine replacement therapy like NicoDerm CQ or nicotine lozenges.  The scientists also collected periodic samples of both saliva and urine which were later analyzed for related levels of carcinogens, other toxic substances, and nicotine concentrations.

"Our study shows that bodily level exposure to established and important smoking-related carcinogens and toxicants is reduced by between 56 percent to 97 percent in long-term e-cigarette users who have stopped smoking completely, compared with tobacco cigarette smokers."

The entire e-cig study is published in the medical journal Annals of Internal Medicine and a summary of the results is also readily available on the Health Day website.  While the study shows that cancer-causing toxins are substantially diminished in only-vapers, the nicotine levels remain largely unchanged. 

Vaping haters need not apply

In an attempt to be unbiased and transparent, the study also makes definitely clear that dual use does not produce the same carcinogenic detoxification results. And of course, anti-vaping groups like the American Lung Association were quick to pick up on this anomaly.

"A lot of people who promote the use of e-cigarettes say, 'Well, if smokers use e-cigarettes they'll cut down on smoking and they'll get fewer toxins in their body.' But in this study that wasn't true.  The e-cigarette users who also smoked got as much toxins in their body as those who just smoked."

-Dr. Norman Edelman, senior scientific advisor for the American Lung Association.

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Meanwhile, Greg Conley from the American Vaping Association is taking issue with this section of the study’s conclusions.  According to Conley, he still believes that further scientific research will soon determine that dual use of vaping while smoking produces proportional decreases in cancer-causing toxins.

"A smoker who drops from 20 cigarettes per day down to 15 may not see meaningful declines in carcinogen exposure.  However, if that same smoker cuts back to three cigarettes per day with the help of vaping or a nicotine-replacement therapy, significant changes in toxin exposure will be clearly evident."

According to the article in Health Day, Anti-vaping protagonist Dr. Edelman is once again claiming that this “further research” will ultimately identify some strange, new combination of toxins that he suspects are unique to e-cig vapor and not found in tobacco smoke - toxins that mysteriously have not yet been identified even after thousands of e-cig studies from multiple public health agencies around the world. 

What is Edelman’s solution?  Instead of vaping, smokers trying to quit should rely only on FDA-approved smoking cessation products like “the patch” and nicotine gum.  Once again, the American Lung Association is hawking products made by Big Pharma. 

And the corruption continues….

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The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author's and do not necessarily represent the viewpoints, policy or company position of Vapes.com, the rest of our staff, and/or any/all contributors to this site.



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