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Mental Health: Vaping found to be safer than smoking

Posted By Adam Klawonn, PA-C, Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Electronic cigarette smokers had fewer chemicals and carcinogens in their systems than their traditional cigarette-smoking counterparts, according to a recent multinational study.

Researchers from several institutions, including University College London and US Centers for Disease Control, found that saliva, urine and breath samples from 181 current and former smokers had fewer traces of nitrosamines – a deadly component of inhaled nicotine – and volatile organic compounds if they were using e-cigarettes only versus their counterparts who used both cigarettes and vape products.

The limited study, which was published in Annals of Internal Medicine, is being hailed as a "landmark" study. A brief summary can be found on the US National Library of Medicine's website.

However, the study did not look at whether vaping can help traditional cigarette smokers quit smoking altogether. Researchers found that serum nicotine levels were roughly the same whether participants smoked or vaped.

That question is further complicated by recent news on the vaping products themselves. First, new research shows vaping can increasingly lure teenagers 

to take up smoking traditional cigarettes, and in fact, vaping among children in grades 8 through 12 is on the rise.

Secondly, there is no consistency in the amount of nicotine present in various vaping products, according to a recent study in Journal of Addiction Medicine. E-cigarette users often look at the doses of nicotine marketed on vape packaging to develop a weaning process to kick the habit completely. But researchers found that samples of e-cigarette products contained as much as 35 percent less or 52 percent more nicotine than marketed.


--Adam Klawonn, PA-C

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