New Study Indicates That E-Cigarette Vapor Is 57,000 Times Less Dangerous Than Smoking


The study published in The Journal of Aerosol Science found that the Excess Lifetime Cancer Risk (ELCR) of vaping is 57,000 times lower than smoking

A new study out of The Journal of Aerosol Science has found that the amount of cancer-causing substances in cigarette smoke is much higher than in e-cigarette vapor. The study was led by Dr. Mauro Scungio of the University of Cassino and Southern Lazio. Dr. Scungio and his team set out to understand the nature of ultrafine particles (UFPs) on the health of vapers, as these types of compounds are found in a more significant concentration in vaping as opposed to smoking.

Many against vaping have postulated that these UFPs could potentially mean that vaping is more dangerous than tobacco. So to determine which activity is genuinely more harmful, an Excess Lifetime Cancer Risk (ELCR) model was used. This type of model considers both sub and super micron particles whereas most studies tend to look at one or the other when making comparisons. What they found was that the ELCR score for e-cigarettes was five orders of magnitude lower than combustible cigarette smoke, over 57,000 fold.

Latest In A Line

This latest study is just part of a long line of research that is affirming the relative safety of vaping to smoking. In August, Dr. William Stephens of the University of St. Andrews published a paper in Tobacco Control that also used a lifetime cancer risk model to look at the difference in harm between vaping and smoking. He also found that e-cigarettes represent a far lower risk than smoking, as well as the heat not burn devices being pushed by big tobacco recently. They did see that the HnB method was safer than traditional smoking, but not by nearly as much as properly used e-liquid vaporizers.

Even the tobacco industry themselves are coming around to the facts. Earlier this month, British American Tobacco (BAT) researchers released a study that found a remarkable 96.4% reduction in adversely affected genes compared with combustible cigarette smoke. When exposed to smoke, over 850 different genes were affected with over 200 damaged within 24 hours. When they exposed the same model to e-cigarette vapor, only four genes were affected by the 48-hour mark. Even when researchers upped the nicotine level of the vapor, the results remained mostly unchanged. These results are part of a more significant trend that is increasing the momentum of scientific acceptance of vaping. Unfortunately, the same can not be said for society at large.

The Real Fight

The most significant hurdle for vaping to make continues to be convincing the general public that it is safer than smoking. A recent study by Action on Smoking and Health found that only 13% of the nearly 13,000 respondents correctly thought that vaping was much safer than smoking; Compared with the 26% who believed vaping is just as, if not more, dangerous than smoking. There is plenty more peer-reviewed evidence proving that e-cigarettes are at least 95% safer than traditional cigarettes, but most of the media don’t seem to have any interest in reporting the truth about vaping. Renowned tobacco control researcher, Dr. Konstantinos Farsalinos agrees with this stance. Discussing the brand new Journal of Aerosol Science findings, he said “I am certain this study will generate ZERO publicity. This is very common for studies showing anything positive on e-cigarettes. After so many studies published in the past few years, smokers still believe that e-cigarettes as similarly or more harmful than smoking. Sad for public health…”

That is why it falls on us to keep spreading the word about vaping to smokers who want to quit. Vaping has been proven to help over half of users quit smoking for good. Especially for those who have had no luck in the past with traditional nicotine replacement therapies, e-cigarettes can offer them the best chance at finally quitting. Some recent research even suggests that this may be due to the psychological cues shared by smoking and vaping, something traditional NRTs don’t have. Whatever the reason, countless lives could be saved if merely more people understood that vaping is a lot safer and can help you quit smoking.

Do you think that the mainstream media purposefully ignores positive information on vaping, but pounces on the negative? Did you ever think that vaping was more dangerous than smoking? If so, what convinced you that you were wrong? Let us know what you think in the comments.

Jimmy, lover, blogger, vaper and ex-smoker. I’ve been blogging about and supporting Vaping since 2009. They changed my life and I think history will show them as one of the most significant public health invention of the 21st century.

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2 Responses

  1. Vista Vapors Inc says:

    The tide of misinformation is definitely real. I used to think that vaping was the same as smoking until I actually started looking at research about it! The best way to fight it is with studies like this and to keep putting the word out!

  2. Canadian Vaper says:

    When it comes to Ultrafine Particles and the comparison of Tobacco Cigarettes to Vapor Products there’s a massive difference, Those against vaping that postulated that the higher rate of UFPs could possibly mean that vaping is more dangerous than tobacco simply don’t understand it at all. All they see the “smoke” which is actually an Aerosol, the liquid used in Vapor Products is water based/water soluble.

    To put it in terms that most will understand it’s very similar to the humidity in the air we breathe every day, when you see those vapers creating those big billows of vapor it’s actually in part humidity as two of the main ingredients, propylene glycol and vegetable based glycerin are hygroscopic, they absorb the humidity in the air and which makes the vapor more visible.

    So what’s the difference between Cigarette Smoke and Vapor? Our bodies, our pulmonary system is designed specifically to deal with humidity and since we’re a water based lifeform we can simply absorb 99%+ of the vapor, when the vapor dissipates and lands on a surface it basically turns back into a liquid.

    So what about cigarette smoke? Cigarette Smoke is a collection of solid and liquid particulates and gases, Cigarette Smoke kills by a combination of poisoning, thermal damage and pulmonary irritation caused by carbon monoxide, hydrogen cyanide and other combustion products. Smoke is also considered an Aerosol but where vapor is water based smoke is composed of carcinogenic solid particles and toxic liquid droplets (30-60 known carcinogens).

    What does all this mean in relation to this article? With the lower amount of toxins in the vapor, vapor products produce in comparison to the combustible tobacco cigarettes it’s impossible for it to be more toxic.

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