Are E-Cigarettes Less Harmful than Tobacco Cigarettes?
As a consumer, it is important to make well-informed decisions when presented with a new product. This is true more so when the switch from one product to another could have potential health effects. And e-cigarettes are one of those products that have received a lot of attention and uproar. With so much noise and so many opinions, reaching a decision is made that much more difficult. Information can easily turn into misinformation when inaccurately presented.
So we turn to a basic question: are e-cigs less harmful than tobacco cigarettes?
One of the ways to answer this question would be a comparative study analyzing the chemical nature of the vapors inhaled relative to the chemical compounds found in cigarette smoke. And Tobacco Control, a scientific peer-reviewed journal, published one such study on March 6, 2013.
The authors of the study selectively screened e-cigarette vapors for potentially toxic and carcinogenic compounds: carbonyls, volatile organic compounds, nitrosamines, and heavy metals. Cigarette smoke, e-cigarette vapor, and a medicinal nicotine inhaler were compared.
The study found that the levels of these toxicants were between 9 to 450 times lower in e-cigarette vapor when compared to cigarette smoke, and in some instances at the same level of medicinal nicotine inhalers that were used as reference points.
The results of this study indicate that substituting cigarettes with e-cigarettes could significantly lower exposure to the selected toxic and carcinogenic compounds found within tobacco cigarettes.
As is true with every subject matter under study, more research and information is needed and products should be constantly evaluated. But as the matter stands, e-cigs are definitely looking to be a much safer alternative to cigarettes.