A recent study published in the journal of Environmental and Molecular Mutagenesis revealed that e-cigarettes do not cause cancer, unlike tobacco. The Action on Smoking and Health noted that nearly three million people in the U.K. use e-cigarettes. As part of the study, a team of researchers at London-based British American Tobacco examined laboratory cells exposed to emissions from a standard e-cigarette. The research team used a particular test, known as Bhas 42 assay, to compare tobacco and nicotine products. According to the study, e-cigarettes did not trigger cancer-related toxicity at any nicotine dose. However, emissions from a standard cigarette collected in the cultured cells resulted in tumor development.
The findings were reflective of another recently published study in the Annals of Internal Medicine. According to the study, people who used e-cigarettes in place of conventional tobacco products exhibited lower levels of toxic and cancer-causing chemicals in the body compared with those who continued using standard cigarettes. However, those who continued using both e-cigarettes and traditional tobacco products did not show significant reductions in toxic and carcinogenic compounds in the body. The results suggested that complete tobacco replacement is required to achieve a similar decreases in hazardous chemicals, the researchers noted.
“Our study adds to existing evidence showing that e-cigarettes and NRT are far safer than smoking, and suggests that there is a very low risk associated with their long-term use. We’ve shown that the levels of toxic chemicals in the body from e-cigarettes are considerably lower than suggested in previous studies using simulated experiments. This means some doubts about the safety of e-cigarettes may be wrong. Our results also suggest that while e-cigarettes are not only safer, the amount of nicotine they provide is not noticeably different to conventional cigarettes. This can help people to stop smoking altogether by dealing with their cravings in a safer way,” lead author Dr. Lion Shahab reported in ScienceDaily.com.
“Around a third of tobacco-caused deaths are due to cancer, so we want to see many more of the UK’s 10 million smokers break their addiction. This study adds to growing evidence that e-cigarettes are a much safer alternative to tobacco, and suggests the long term effects of these products will be minimal. Understanding and communicating the benefits of nicotine replacements, such as e-cigarettes, is an important step towards reducing the number of tobacco-related deaths here in the UK,” said Alison Cox, Cancer Research UK‘s Director of Cancer Prevention.
FDA insists on on e-cigarette warning
Despite the mounting evidence on the relative safety of e-cigarettes compared with traditional tobacco products, the U.S. Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) continues to warn about the potential health risk associated with the device. According to the FDA, e-cigarettes may promote nicotine addiction in the younger population and may even encourage children to try other nicotine-containing products. A few years ago, the FDA has also conducted a laboratory testing on two leading brands of e-cigarette samples and found that the products contained potentially toxic chemicals. The agency has since then partnered with other health experts to warn about the dangers of e-cigarette use.
Just last year, the FDA and Democratic legislators have pushed for stricter regulations in e-cigarette use, stating that the devices may serve as a gateway to tobacco use among children. However, the Trump administration early this month has delayed the implementation of a final rule imposing stricter regulation of e-cigarettes. In the motion, Justice Department attorneys and industry groups requested for a three-month delay in order to give new leadership personnel at the Health and Human Services more time to mull over the proposed regulations and the issues raised against e-cigarettes.