Ecigs Reduce Exposure to Deadly Toxins Even Among Dual Users
Many smokers turn to electronic cigarettes for help when they are trying to quit tobacco. But many health experts worry that dual use, or both vaping and smoking intermittently, could ultimately only lead to worsening health problems and higher nicotine exposure. In an effort to find out if dual use was harmful, Dr. Hayden McRobbie, a professor of public health interventions at the Wolfson Institute of Preventative Medicine, tested smoker’s exposure to acrolein, nicotine, and carbon monoxide both before and after using ecigs to stop smoking. What he discovered could be one of the biggest advancements in vaping research that we have seen this year.
“We found that e-cigarette use significantly reduced exposure to carbon monoxide and acrolein over a four week period,” McRobbie said. “The reduction was greatest in those who switched to e-cigarettes completely, but even those who were dual users at four weeks had reduced exposure to carbon monoxide and acrolein.”
To find out the true effects of dual use, McRobbie and his colleagues recruited 33 smokers who were interested in quitting. A week before the study began, they collected baseline information by testing exposure to carbon monoxide, acrolein, and nicotine. Then each participate received an ecig and directions to use it anytime they wanted for the next four weeks.
When the four week time period was over, McRobbie and his colleagues followed up with a second round of tests. This time, they found that the smokers habits had drastically changed and so had their health. Of the 33 smokers who participated, 16 were already completely tobacco-free after just four weeks of using an ecigarette. The remaining participants were using both conventional cigarettes and the ecig intermittently. Among the 16 participants that had completely quit smoking and were only vaping, they decreased their carbon monoxide exposure by 80 percent. The dual-users also had promising results with their levels of carbon monoxide decreasing by 52 percent.
This study proves that even when used in conjunction with tobacco cigarettes, ecigs are a strong harm reduction alternative. McRobbie hopes to learn more about the potential for vaping to help smokers through future trials. “These results suggest that e-cigarettes may reduce harm compared with conventional cigarettes, even in dual users, but longer-term studies are needed to confirm this,” he concluded.
What about you… how did ecigs impact your tobacco use? Did you immediately quit smoking when you started vaping or did it take you awhile to transition?