Recent research carried out in Greece confirmed that e-cigarettes are actually safer to use than traditional tobacco cigarettes.
The study was undertaken by the Department of Cardiology in the Onassis Cardiac Surgery Center and the Department of Pharmacy, University of Patras. The results were published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health.
This research was unique in that it was the first time that the level of toxins in tobacco smoke had been compared to the toxicity of liquid nicotine used in e-cigarettes from both types of e-liquid.
The scientists assessed the two groups of e-liquids in general use. The first, known as Natural Extracts of Tobacco – NETs, is made by using cured tobacco leaves to extract the flavor. The second group of conventional e-liquids has the tobacco flavor and nicotine produced in the laboratory.
The research focused on the NET group from which it was discovered that the magnitude of nitrosamine toxins in the liquid was 146 – 1447 times lower than in tobacco products. The nitrate level in one ml of e-liquid compared to one gram of tobacco was 1360 times lower.
The researchers also examined the accuracy of the labeling procedures regarding nicotine content in the liquids.
They found that the deviation from the labeled nicotine content was, on average, 5.9 percent for conventional e-liquids and 1.5 percent for NETs. Interestingly, no difference between conventional liquids and NETs were observed, indicating that the flavor extraction process does not lead to extraction of nicotine from the tobacco leaves.
The researchers took account of the fact that e-liquids typically consist of propylene glycol, glycerol, nicotine and flavorings.
Different flavor types are available, such as tobacco, sweets, fruits, beverages and nuts, and it is known that users frequently switch between them.
However, the tobacco flavors are the most popular for first time users, especially for those using e-cigarettes as a means of ultimately reducing their dependence on tobacco as their source of nicotine.
The research was extremely meticulous and the full detailed report can be accessed here.
In summary, this study adds to a growing amount of evidence confirming the lower risk potential of e-cigarettes compared to tobacco. Even though the NET liquids contained slightly more tobacco-derived toxins than the conventional e-liquids, the levels were still much lower compared to toxicity of tobacco.