E-Cigarettes Could Cut Tobacco Smoke Toxicant Exposure

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Tobacco Smoke Toxicant Exposure
Tobacco Smoke Toxicant Exposure

(HealthDay News) — Electronic cigarette (EC) use is associated with a decrease in tobacco smoke toxicant exposure in those who quit smoking, as well as in dual users, according to a study published in the September issue of Cancer Prevention Research.

Hayden McRobbie, MB, ChB, PhD, from Queen Mary University of London, and colleagues examined exposure to carbon monoxide (CO), nicotine, and acrolein before and after four weeks of electronic cigarette use in 40 smokers.

The researchers found that 33 participants were using EC four weeks after quitting. Forty-eight percent of EC users were abstinent from smoking during the previous week (EC-only users) and 52% were dual users. Significant reductions in CO were seen in both EC-only users and dual users (−12ppm [80% decrease] and −12ppm [52% decrease], respectively). There was a decrease in cotinine levels, albeit to a lesser extent (EC-only users: −184ng/mg creatinine; 17% decrease; dual users: −976ng/mg creatinine; 44% decrease). At four weeks there were decreases in acrolein, based on measurement of S-(3-hydropxypropyl)mercapturic acid in urine, for both EC-only users and dual users (−1,280ng/mg creatinine [79% decrease] and −1,474ng/mg creatinine [60% decrease], respectively). EC use significantly reduced exposure to CO and acrolein in dual users due to reduced smoke intake.

"EC may reduce harm even in smokers who continue to smoke, but long-term follow-up studies are needed to confirm this," the authors write.

Two authors disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry; one author disclosed ties to manufacturers of stop-smoking medications.

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