Vaping for only 2 weeks reduces carcinogens by 64%, says research

A new e-cig study comparing the effects of nicotine on the human body indicates that vaping for only two weeks reduces carcinogen intake by as much as 64 percent compared to smoking.  Smokers who make the switch for only one week will see their scores plummet by up to 57 percent.  For vaping haters who claim that vaping is just as deadly and toxic as smoking, this research may begin to refute those statements once and for all.

The research began by soliciting the help of twenty smokers who committed to switching to vaping for a period of two weeks or more.  With such a small control group, the co-authors of the study admit that more research is needed while using a larger number of participants before any declarative findings can be made.

Related Article:  Cancer death rates drop sharply as vaping soars in popularity, says new report

The results are further hampered by the fact that only 45 percent of the control group managed to successfully complete the two-week study.   The remaining portion either relapsed back into smoking, quit for health reasons non-related to vaping, or were asked to resign for not following the study’s scientific protocols.

Still, the study entitled Exposure to Nicotine and Selected Toxicants in Cigarette Smokers Who Switched to Electronic Cigarettes: A Longitudinal Within-Subjects Observational Study is regarded in many circles as a good first step in cancer-related vaping research.  The complete study is published in the medical journal Oxford Academic Nicotine and Tobacco Research.

Overview of the 2-weeks vaping study

Led by Dr. Maciej Goniewicz of the Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center is Buffalo, New York, this vaping study was conducted right here in the USA.   A substantial portion of pro-vaping research papers are conducted by scientists in Europe and elsewhere, like the Public Health England study indicating that vaping is 95 percent less harmful than smoking.  The fact that the Goniewicz study is based in America may be crucial in gaining acceptance by U.S. public health agencies like the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). 

Related Article:   Did the CDC just confirm that vaping is not a gateway to teen smoking?

The Roswell Park scientists began by monitoring the urinary samples and biomarker measurements (related to cigarette exposure) of the participating volunteers.  The scientists measured for 17 major carcinogens associated with combustible cigarette smoke, 13 carcinogens related to tobacco cigarette ingredients, 7 different metabolites, 4 polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (fluorene, naphthalene, phenanthrene, pyrene), and 8 volatile organic compounds (VOCs).  Not only did the researchers determine that switching to vaping for only two weeks significantly decreases carcinogenic intake for smokers, but they also estimate that making the switch results in a 61 percent chance that the smoker can quit permanently.

“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.”

The 45 percent figure is also noteworthy.  Much has been written about the effectivity of vaping as a stop-smoking aid.  U.S. public health officials tend to promote Big Pharma products like “the patch” and nicotine gums and lozenges while calling into question the possible health benefits associated with long-term vaping. But even the CDC seems to confirm the results of the Dr. Maciej Goniewicz study.  In a recently published report entitled Quit Methods Used by US Adult Cigarette Smokers, 2014–2016, the CDC states that vaping is the most popular smoking cessation method among almost 16,000 surveyed.

Related Article:  CDC study confirms vaping more popular than ‘the patch’ or other NRTs

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