You may have read about a new study earlier this week saying that e-cigarettes are harming your lungs. The study got national headlines with a variety of overblown headlines claiming e-cigs are dangerous.
Before you panic though there are few things to note about this study and its importance.
When looking at such a widely publicised study it’s always good to look at the size, the method of testing and what it is actually claiming. It’s very easy to read the headlines and get caught up in sensationalised news.
The Co-Founder of SMOKO, Mike Cameron, was asked by Radio Kent to talk about this on air and give some perspective on this new study. Here is the interview!
The first point to make clear is that e-cigarettes are still MUCH better for you than cigarettes. Countless studies have proven there are no carcinogens in e-cigarettes, no 2nd hand smoke and the vapour produced by e-cigarettes is dramatically less harmful than cigarette smoke on your lungs.
And the health services view on e-cigarettes is as strong as ever, saying:
Public Health England has always been a strong supporter of e-cigarettes, as they were one of the first to proclaim how much better they were than cigarettes. In their most famous statement they said “e-cigarettes were at least 95% less harmful than cigarettes”.
In response to this recent study by the University of Birmingham, the Tobacco Control Lead for Public Health England, Martin Dockrell, said: “E-cigarettes are not 100% risk-free but they are clearly much less harmful than smoking.”
The Royal College of Physicians is still holding to their view on E-Cigarettes, which they say: “E-Cigarettes have the potential to make a major contribution towards preventing the premature death, disease and social inequalities in health that smoking currently causes”
The NHS was a little more restrained, but still said in response to this study: “e-cigs are certainly healthier than smoking tobacco”.
One limitation of this study was how small it was. The study used cells from 8 people’s lungs.
Though this doesn’t invalidate the study, it makes it much harder to extrapolate generalisations with such a small sample size.
That’s why the researchers who ran the study said that more tests need to be done before a real conclusion is made.
It’s also important to note how the researchers came by their results, as they didn’t test real people, but a sample of cells.
The study was conducted by taking lung cells (alveolar macrophage cells) and dosing them with e-cigarette vapour.
To try and replicate an average e-cigarette user they rigged up an e-cigarette to a machine and created vapour every 30 seconds for a few hours and collected the vapour. They then used the collected vapour to immerse the cells and looked to see what happened.
This study might provide some useful insight on how some cells may react to e-cigarette vapour in a controlled environment, but isolation does not necessarily portray real-world use.
One of the major downsides of this study is that it used cells from non-smokers lungs not from people who smoke.
Though the reason they did this makes sense, they wanted to see what vapour does without any pre-existing conditions, it does mean we can’t see what the difference between smokers and e-cigarette users lungs.
This is important as e-cigarettes were created for people to use as an alternative to traditional tobacco, not for people who have never smoked. E-cigarettes are designed and marketed to smokers who want to make the switch to a much healthier alternative.
Looking at what e-cigarette vapour does in isolation can be confusing and misleading. A much better approach is to look at the impact of e-cigarette vapour compared to cigarette smoke. This way we could see how much less damage vapour does.
This study then might seem alarming, but this is far from damaging to e-cigarettes. The problem is that people focus and remember the bad, and forget about the good news.
Studies that show how useful e-cigarettes are, or how much better they are than smoking simply do not get the same attention as this kind of study.
So if you were thinking of making the switch from cigarettes, don’t let this stop you! Try one of our starter kits today and see if it can help you.
SMOKO Premium Electronic Cigarettes is the UK’s leading brand of e-cigarettes. Since starting in 2012, SMOKO has helped prevent the use of over 100,000,000 cigarettes. Our e-cigarettes have helped our customers save over £40M in extra disposable income.
SMOKO E-Cigarettes contain only the highest quality, pharmaceutical-grade ingredients. Best of all our liquids are all Made in the UK! The majority of e-cigarette brands sold in grocery and convenience stores, petrol stations and on-line still use Chinese-made ingredients.
SMOKO Electronic Cigarettes contain only 4 ingredients vs. the 4,000 chemicals and 50 known carcinogens found in traditional cigarettes.
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