Study Examines Electronic Cigarettes and Smoking Cessation

Quit-Smoking-CigarettesA population-based survey of smokers was conducted to assess electronic cigarette use and its connection with abstinence rates. At baseline 1,374 adult smokers from the Dallas and Indianapolis areas were surveyed and agreed to be contacted two years later. Of this group 695 were re-contacted in 2014.

After the initial interview of the surveyed smokers’ tobacco use, the follow up interview assessed their smoking rates and electronic cigarette use. Those surveyed were categorized as one of the following: intensive users (using electronic cigarettes every day for at least one month), intermittent users (using e-cigarettes regularly, but not every day for more than one month), and non-users/triers (using e-cigarettes once or twice at most).

The results of the follow up interview categorized the 695 re-contacted respondents as 23% intensive users, 29% intermittent users, 18% triers, and 30% non-users. According to the results, intensive users of electronic cigarettes were six times more likely than non-users/triers to quit smoking. In this study smoking cessation was defined as abstaining from cigarettes for at least one month.

Only intensive users of e-cigs were successful in terms of smoking cessation. For this reason more research is needed to determine why many smokers do not become intensive users.

The study concludes that “daily use of electronic cigarettes for at least one month is strongly associated with quitting smoking at follow up. Further investigation of the underlying reasons for intensive versus intermittent use will help shed light on the mechanisms underlying the associations between e-cigarette use, motivation to quit and smoking cessation.”

Sources: http://bit.ly/1rH5KZX

http://bit.ly/1wNzo4e

 

Groundbreaking Clinical Study to Assess the Temperature of E-Liquid Evaporation

Latest-E-Cig-StudyDr. Konstantinos Farsalinos is a Greek cardiovascular specialist. In recent years he has devoted most of his time to clinical research on electronic cigarettes and the effects of their use. His work is important because it arms the public with scientific data on the safety and efficacy of e-cigs.

An important, new study is in the works. The main objective is to evaluate the temperature at which e-liquid evaporates. A significant difference between tobacco cigarettes and electronic versions is combustion. Electronic cigarettes do not burn material to create vapor. However, heat is required to convert e-liquid into the vapor that is inhaled by its users. This may cause decomposition and release of e-cigarette chemicals.

Until now, no study has evaluated temperatures inside the wick. In addition to gathering data in a lab, this research will be conducted under real life conditions. Natural patterns of electronic cigarette use, including duration of inhalation and wattage settings, will be analyzed for the release of potentially harmful chemicals. Hazardous emissions will also be evaluated in “dry hits” and sub-ohm vaping. All results will be compared to exposure from tobacco cigarettes.

The data gathered through this study will provide electronic cigarette users with valuable information needed to make informed decisions on the safest methods to vape. Manufacturers can also use the results to ensure safety with the release of new devices. As popularity of e-cigs continues to grow, this exciting study will shed light on possibly the most crucial factor of electronic cigarette safety and new development.

Source: http://bit.ly/1p9x9Un

 

 

 

 

Study Finds E-Cigs are not a Gateway to Tobacco Cigarettes

A study that has yet to be published, was presented to the American Association for Cancer Research. This study, conducted by Dr. Ted Wagener from the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, examines the fear that electronic cigarettes lead young people to cigarette addiction.

College students, with an average age of nineteen, were surveyed on their nicotine and tobacco use. Of the 1300 students, 43 students reported their first nicotine product was an electronic cigarette. Researchers found only one person who started using nicotine through an electronic cigarette who then went on to smoke tobacco cigarettes.

The recent CDC article on teen usage of electronic cigarettes left people fearful that e-cigs could be a gateway for youths to lifelong cigarette addiction.

According to Dr. Wagener, “It didn’t seem as though it really proved to be a gateway to anything.”  The vast majority of those who started with e-cigs reported they were not currently using any nicotine or tobacco.

In an online column Jacob Sullum of Forbes magazine agrees, “…the survey data [CDC data] provided no evidence that e-cigarettes are a gateway to the conventional kind.”

I think everyone can agree that electronic cigarettes are not intended for and should not be used by minors. It is an issue that should not be taken lightly. The assumption that e-cigs lead to tobacco cigarettes is a serious one, but it’s just that: an “assumption.” Parents should talk to their kids about smoking and e-cig vendors should sell responsibly. Let’s not allow ideological fear get in the way of the millions of adults who have benefited from electronic cigarettes.

Sources: http://bit.ly/17tcXJT

http://onforb.es/17z4yST

http://bit.ly/1iI4L7U

 

European Parliament Makes Decisions on Tobacco and Electronic Cigarette Regulations

European parliament in Strasbourg-1448437

After months of debate, the European Parliament voted in Strasbourg on tobacco regulations. The tobacco industry used a strong lobbying campaign arguing against regulations because the vote would “limit consumer freedom.”

Ultimately, Parliament agreed on scaled-back versions of tougher tobacco regulation. The World Health Organization (WHO) and EU health officials are viewing the tobacco vote as an important milestone, but will continue the quest to get smokers to quit and keep nonsmokers from picking up.

Regulations include phasing out menthol cigarettes over eight years, as opposed to the three years agreed by EU governments. An agreement was made to include health warnings in pictures and text on 65% of each cigarette pack. There will also be a ban on packs of cigarettes containing 10 cigarettes. Slim cigarettes will not be banned.

As far as electronic cigarettes are concerned, the European Parliament approved restrictions on advertising, sponsoring, and sales to minors.

They rejected proposals to regulate e-cigs as medical devices. This regulation would have made it very difficult for electronic cigarettes to be viewed as an accessible alternative to tobacco.

“Armando Peruga, tobacco control expert at WHO in Geneva, said regulating e-cigarettes wouldn’t necessarily be a bad thing and that WHO is currently evaluating their safety and effectiveness. “We do think e-cigarettes could be useful, but we need more information. We have not yet ruled them out. We do think they could be helpful for some smokers.”

This is a very big change from WHO’s previous stance on electronic cigarettes. In the past, WHO has strongly advised against using e-cigs. The EU Parliament’s decision to allow electronic cigarettes to compete with tobacco cigarettes is a huge one.

The vaping community is a passionate group of individuals who are not blinded by ideology. The countless testimonials and success stories of e-cig users in the face of anti-smoking groups is impossible to ignore. There are tens of thousands of people benefiting from the use of electronic cigarettes and health officials are taking notice.

Sources: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-24439474

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/10/09/business/international/european-lawmakers-reject-tight-restrictions-on-e-cigarettes.html?_r=1&

http://tobaccoanalysis.blogspot.com/2013/10/eu-parliament-rejects-de-facto-ban-on.html

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/world/eu-moves-to-impose-broad-new-smoking-restrictions/article14740475/

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=230363779

 

 

Study Finds Electronic Cigarettes are as Effective as Nicotine Patches at Helping Smokers Quit

An early online publication of The Lancet medical journal explores the possibilities of electronic cigarettes as smoking cessation tools. The study investigates the effectiveness of e-cigs compared to that of nicotine patches.

A randomized controlled study was conducted in New Zealand between Sept 2011 and July 2013. Of the 657 participants, 289 received nicotine e-cigarettes, 295 received nicotine patches, and 73 received e-cigs without nicotine (“placebo e-cigarettes”).

At six months, the verified abstinence rates were as follows:

  • 7.3% abstinent with nicotine electronic cigarettes.
  • 5.8% abstinent with nicotine patches.
  • 4.1% abstinent with placebo electronic cigarettes

There were no significant differences in adverse effects among the different products used.

According to the CDC, tobacco is the number one preventable cause of disease and death in the US. Tobacco kills 443,000 annually. The American Cancer Society estimates that 4-7% of people are able to quit smoking with any given try.

The study found that electronic cigarettes, with or without nicotine, achieve similar rates of abstinence as nicotine patches.

Sources: http://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(13)61842-5/abstract?rss=yes

http://www.nbcnews.com/health/embargo-6-pm-saturday-e-cigarettes-good-patches-helping-smokers-8C11098306

Comprehensive Review on the Chemistry of Electronic Cigarette Vapor

imagesA study conducted by Dr. Igor Burstyn assess the chemistry of contaminants in electronic cigarettes. “Both peer-reviewed and “grey” literatures were accessed and more than 9000 observations of highly variable quality were extracted.” According to Dr. Burstyn, “The existing literature tends to overestimate the exposures [of contaminants in electronic cigarettes] and exaggerate their implications.”

The question is, why are there so many discrepancies when it comes to the “facts” on electronic cigarettes? Dr. Burstyn believes the differences in opinions are partially due to rhetoric. He describes the reported isolated instances of “highest level of chemical detected” as “clear bias.” … average exposure that can be calculated are higher than true value because they are missing all true zeros.”

When compared to tobacco cigarettes, e-cigs are generally recognized as safer. This paper goes a step further in attempting to analyze health risks to both users of electronic cigarettes and bystanders.

According to this study further research is needed on the long term effects of inhaling propylene glycol and glycerin in regards to respiratory distress. However, “exposure of bystanders to the listed, let alone the contaminants, does not warrant a concern as the exposure is likely to be orders of magnitude lower than exposure experienced by vapers.”

In regards to contaminants, “An analysis of current state of knowledge about the chemistry of liquids and aerosols associated with electronic cigarettes indicates that there is no evidence that vaping produces inhalable exposures to contaminants of the aerosol that would warrant health concerns by the standards that are used to ensure safety of workplaces.”

The key conclusions are as follows:

  1. “Even when compared to workplace standards for involuntary exposures, and using several conservative (erring on the side of caution) assumptions, the exposures from using e-cigarettes fall well below the threshold for concern for compounds with known toxicity. That is, even ignoring the benefits of e-cigarette use and the fact that the exposure is actively chosen, and even comparing to the levels that are considered unacceptable to people who are not benefitting from the exposure and do not want it, the exposures would not generate concern or call for remedial action.”
  2. “There is no serious concern about the contaminants such as volatile organic compounds (formaldehyde, acrolein, etc.) in the liquid produced by heating. While these contaminants are present, they have been detected at problematic levels only in a few studies that apparently were based on unrealistic levels of heating.”
  3. “Tobacco-specific nitrosamines (TSNA) are present in trace quantities and pose no more (likely much less) threat to health than TSNAs from modern smokeless tobacco products, which cause no measurable risk for cancer.”
  4. “Contamination by metals is shown to be at similarly trivial levels that pose no health risk, and the alarmist claims about such contaminants are based on unrealistic assumptions about the molecular form of these elements.”

Source: For the full story click here: http://publichealth.drexel.edu/SiteData/docs/ms08/f90349264250e603/ms08.pdf

24 Month Study Reports 40% Success Rate With the Use of Electronic Cigarettes

A study was published in the journal Internal and Emergency Medicine. Many of the doctors who conducted this study were involved in the research I covered in July 2013 entitled 12 Month Clinical Study Confirms E-Cigs are Effective Smoking Cessation Tools.

The latest findings were gathered over a two year follow-up period. The study included 40 participants who were disinterested in quitting at the time of the initial study. Electronic cigarettes were provided for six months. Cigarettes per day (cig/day) and exhaled carbon monoxide levels were measured at 18 and 24 months. The results are as follows:

12.5% of smokers with no desire to quit at baseline completely quit cigarettes. 27.5% cut their cig/day intake by more than half. Of the participants who cut back on smoking, the average cigarette consumption significantly decreased from 24 cig/day at baseline to 4 cig/day at 24 months. This brings the combined smoking reduction and abstinence rates to 40% at 24 months.

Three participants relapsed back to tobacco cigarettes, four upgraded to higher performing products, and five participants stopped using e-cigs altogether and stayed quit.

The study concludes, “Long-term e-cigarette use can substantially decrease cigarette consumption in smokers not willing to quit and is well tolerated.” Take that skeptics!

Source: http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11739-013-0977-z

 

Former FDA Administration Advisor Says E-Cigs May be Useful as a Reduced-Risk Option to Traditional Cigarettes

Former FDA Administrative advisor, Dr. Neal Benowitz, recently co-authored a report  in the Journal of the American Medical Association. The topic: electronic cigarettes. Benowitz says electronic cigarettes “likely pose less direct hazard to the individual smoker than tobacco cigarettes and might help smokers quit smoking or reduce harm by smoking fewer tobacco cigarettes.”

Dr. Benowitz serves on a Pfizer smoking cessation medication advisory board. He has also worked as a consultant to two other pharmaceutical companies. He has spoken out on the potential health benefits of e-cigs despite their direct competition with pharmaceutical nicotine replacement therapy (NRT).

In 2009, Congress gave the FDA oversight of the tobacco industry although it cannot ban nicotine or tobacco. The FDA’s Center for Tobacco Products is evaluating new “modified risk” tobacco products. Electronic cigarettes may fall into this category.

Currently manufacturers and distributors are not permitted to market e-cigs as smoking cessation or lower-risk tobacco products. In order for a product to be marketed as “lower-risk” scientific proof must be provided to the FDA that shows harm reduction in not only the individual users, but also to the health of the population as a whole. While electronic cigarettes do not contain tobacco, if the FDA determines e-cigs are helpful as smoking cessation tools they could be regulated as both a medication and tobacco product.

According to Dr. Benowitz, “currently available NRT products are not as satisfying and are less acceptable to smokers compared with inhaling and absorbing nicotine from cigarette smoke. The possibility of an inhaled clean-nicotine delivery device has been discussed by health researchers for many years as a potentially more effective way to promote smoking cessation.” While e-cigs have not yet been regulated as smoking cessation devices “the e-cigarette has been positioned as such an inhaled nicotine delivery device and has gained popularity through this perception.”

Source: http://www.journalnow.com/business/business_news/local/article_b921af9a-f61e-11e2-ac1f-001a4bcf6878.html

 

 

Medical Professional with 25 Years Experience in Tobacco Control Weighs in on Electronic Cigarettes

WGBH Boston Public Radio recently interviewed Dr. Michael Siegel, Professor in the Department of Community Health and Sciences at Boston University School of Public Health. He is an expert in tobacco control, as he has 25 years of experience in the field. He has also spent two years working at the Office on Smoking and Health at the Centers for Disease Control.

Hosts Jim Braude and Margery Eagan invited Dr. Siegel to discuss his research on electronic cigarettes. Dr. Siegel opened with an explanation of electronic cigarettes and how they differ from tobacco cigarettes. According to Siegel they are “not real cigarettes” as they do not contain tobacco and don’t produce smoke. Without smoke, there is no secondhand smoke. While working at CDC Dr. Siegel conducted research on secondhand smoke which solidifies the validity of this statement.

Siegel has reviewed all studies on electronic cigarettes and analyzed these products for safety and efficacy. In his research he came to two conclusions:

  1. Electronic cigarettes are much safer than tobacco cigarettes. There is “no question” that making the switch from tobacco cigarettes is going to provide major improvements to the users’ health and major reductions in risk. 
  2. There seems to be evidence that e-cigs are at least as effective if not more so than other forms of NRT (nicotine replacement therapy).

When confronted with the issue of kids using electronic cigarettes Dr. Siegel is completely in favor of not allowing minors to use these products. However, he doesn’t see this as a considerable threat. He explains that it’s difficult to predict what will be popular with kids, but history shows that kids don’t like using fakes. They like the “real thing.”

Electronic cigarette marketers are careful not to make these devices attractive to youths. If the FDA sees teens using e-cigs they will most certainly have them immediately pulled from the market.

While Siegel supports banning sales to minors, he believes banning consenting adults from using electronic cigarettes in restaurants and in the workplace is “overkill” because there is no evidence e-cigs are causing any harm. Some people get “freaked out” by the vapor. According to Siegel however, the chemicals in the vapor are relatively benign and are about the same that you would find in a nicotine inhaler.

A huge part of the addiction to cigarettes is the oral action: the hand to mouth motion. Also seeing the “smoke” and feeling the throat hit are appealing features that can not be achieved with other forms of NRT.

When asked by the interviewers why support of electronic cigarettes is still not unanimous Dr. Siegel explained that many anti-smoking groups have an “ideological block.” The thinking here is if a behavior looks like smoking it must be harmful. In reality vaping is far safer than smoking and is a “viable option” to help smokers quit and keep them alive.

Dr. Siegel reminds us of the scientific facts: according to a clinical trial, of the smokers who completely stopped smoking and switched to electronic cigarettes more than a third quit e-cigs altogether. “There’s no question that the people who use this are people who want to quit or cutdown.” E-cigs are a potential “life saving alternative” to smoking. Smokers are not making the switch because it looks cool. “They’re doing it because they’re worried about dying.”

Source: To listen to the full story click here: http://www.wgbhnews.org/post/immigration-woes-cape-traffic-horror-stories-e-cigarettes-new-movie-roundup

 

 

 

 

12 Month Clinical Study Confirms E-Cigs are Effective Smoking Cessation Tools

The journal PLos ONE published a study entitled Efficiency and Safety of an Electronic Cigarette as Tobacco Cigarettes Substitute: A Prospective 12-Month Randomized Control Design Study. For those who still question the efficacy of electronic cigarettes as smoking cessation devices, there’s no denying the results of this clinical trial.

300 smokers with no interest or intent to quit were randomly placed in one of three groups.

  • Group A- Consisted of 100 people who received cartridges of 7.2 mg of nicotine for 12 weeks.
  • Group B- Consisted of 100 people who received cartridges at 7.2 mg of nicotine for 6 weeks and 5.4 mg of nicotine for 6 weeks.
  • Group C- Consisted of 100 people who received cartridges at 0mg of nicotine for 12 weeks.

Throughout the course of this one year study there were nine visits where participants’ eCO (carbon monoxide levels) were measured. The results are as follows:

There were no consistent differences among the three study groups. Smoking reduction was shown in 22.3% at week 12 and 10.3% at week 52. Total abstinence from tobacco smoking was shown in 10.7% at week 12 and 8.7% at week 52. Withdrawal symptoms were infrequently reported. Participants perception and acceptance of the product was satisfactory.

The study concludes, “In smokers not intending to quit, the use of e-cigarettes, with or without nicotine, decreased cigarette consumption and elicited enduring tobacco abstinence without causing significant side effects.”

Source: http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0066317