A well-known academic journal "Science" once published a paper that refuted the harmfulness of e-cigarettes and criticized the United States' attempt to ban e-cigarettes across the board at that time. “Restricting or banning less harmful vaping products while leaving deadly cigarette products on the market out of an excess of caution will not protect public health,” the article reads.
Founded in 1880 by Thomas Edison, Science is one of the most authoritative academic journals in the world. The article was co-authored by scientists from The Ohio State University, Emory University, New York University, and Columbia University School of Public Health. Therefore, this paper has high authority.
The article pointed out that scientists believe that although e-cigarettes are not 100% safe, e-cigarettes are safer alternatives to cigarettes, which can help people quit smoking and it is a better harm reduction tool. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), cigarettes kill more than 480,000 Americans every year!
Separately, the authors cite a 2018 report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine that found that replacing traditional cigarettes with nicotine e-cigarettes reduces smokers’ exposure to “a variety of toxicants and carcinogens.” A series of studies and results have shown that e-cigarettes appear to be less harmful to individuals than cigarettes. The author is not saying that e-cigarettes are harmless, but that they are safer than traditional cigarettes.
The research team recruited hundreds of "old smokers" who smoked an average of 9 cigarettes a day to participate. The researchers divided them into four groups, and issued e-cigarettes with a nicotine content of 0mg/ml, 8mg/ml, and 36mg/ml respectively, as well as "fake cigarettes" that could not be atomized and did not contain nicotine, allowing them to use cigarettes daily. , try to quit smoking with these aids.
Through 24 weeks of experimental observation, the research team found that in subjects who simultaneously used high-concentration nicotine (36mg/ml) e-cigarettes, the tobacco-specific nitrite amine metabolite NNAL was much lower than that of the control group that used fake cigarettes group, the average reduction was about 40%. And the concentration of 36 mg of nicotine per milliliter is just close to that of traditional tobacco.
What is NNAL? As we all know, tobacco produces a variety of harmful substances when it is burned, and NNAL is one of them. It has specific carcinogenic properties and is also the most notorious one among the carcinogenic factors caused by tobacco.
The study concluded that only when the nicotine concentration of the aid is sufficient, can the purpose of smoking cessation harm reduction be effectively achieved.
"We found that e-cigarettes can deliver the same amount of nicotine to smokers as cigarettes, they can more effectively help smokers change their smoking habits, and reduce their risk of exposure to carcinogens." Penn State Cancer Institute researchers Jonathan Foulds said.
Although the harm reduction of e-cigarettes has been confirmed by many authoritative organizations, including the British Department of Public Health, the public still has concerns about using e-cigarettes and cigarettes at the same time. However, this study found that even when the two were used together, the levels of NNAL in the subjects' urine were much lower than when they had only used cigarettes before.
Jonathan believes that this experiment proves that short-term dual use poses relatively limited safety risks to humans.
Researchers at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reached similar conclusions in July 2020. Different from this study, this study mainly compared the NNAL content of smokers and e-cigarette users only. The results showed that the NNAL content of e-cigarette users in their urine was only 2.2% of that of smokers.
Dr. Maciej Goniewicz, an expert from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, also said that switching to e-cigarettes by smokers can reduce the intake of tobacco-related lung carcinogens and reduce the risk of related diseases to a certain extent.