Scientists from the University of St Andrews in the UK have recently published a new e-cig
study indicating that vaping can be as much as 99% less carcinogenic than smoking. Led by Dr. William E Stephens, the researchers began by compiling and evaluating the reams of already published research regarding the chemical emissions or various nicotine-enhanced aerosols. They then compared the carcinogenic risks of vaping and smoking to those associated with Heat-not-Burn (HnB) technology, as well.
The UK e-cig study entitled Comparing the cancer potencies of emissions from vapourised nicotine products including e-cigarettes with those of tobacco smoke is readily available for review on the BMJ Tobacco Control website. The resulting conclusions are based on the regular smoking of 15 cigarettes per day compared to vaping at a level of 30 litres of vapor (not e-liquid) per day.
"The cancer potencies of various nicotine-delivering aerosols are modelled using published chemical analyses of emissions and their associated inhalation unit risks. Potencies are compared using a conversion procedure for expressing smoke and e-cigarette vapours in common units. Lifetime cancer risks are calculated from potencies using daily consumption estimates."
Perhaps even more striking, the scientists note in the conclusions section of the paper that the associated results of carcinogenic risks depend heavily on the proper use of vapor technology, the vaping habits of the user, and the formulation of the e-liquid
Scientists have known for years that vaping at abnormally high temperatures tends to produce vapor with higher levels of carbonyls. In the past, researchers of similar studies have been openly criticized for perhaps intentionally cranking up the heat on their vaping devices in an attempt to possibly skew the associated scientific conclusions to favor anti-vaping lobbyists. The University of St Andrews team makes clear that they paid careful attention to this tiny but very important detail when conducting their research.
"The aerosols form a spectrum of cancer potencies spanning five orders of magnitude from uncontaminated air to tobacco smoke. E-cigarette
emissions span most of this range with the preponderance of products having potencies<1% of tobacco smoke and falling within two orders of magnitude of a medicinal nicotine inhaler; however, a small minority have much higher potencies. These high-risk results tend to be associated with high levels of carbonyls generated when excessive power is delivered to the atomizer
The UK scientists also compared the carcinogenic risks of e-cig vapor and cigarette smoke to the smoke produced from HnB Technology. Even though HnB is still in its infancy stages of development, its related smoke seems to be less carcinogenic than smoking but not as low as e-cigarette vapor produced under optimal conditions.
"Samples of a prototype heat-not-burn device have lower cancer potencies than tobacco smoke by at least one order of magnitude, but higher potencies than most e-cigarettes."
The published findings of the University of St Andrews e-cig study also support previous scientific evidence produced by the Cancer Research UK in February 2017. In a related press release published on the Health Day website, researchers of the latter study claim vaping is up to 97% less carcinogenic.