E-cigarette use in smokers who quit and in dual users demonstrated a significant decrease in tobacco smoke toxicant exposure, according to study results.
“We found that e-cigarette use significantly reduced exposure to carbon monoxide and acrolein over a 4 week period,” Hayden McRobbie, MB, PhD, a professor of public health interventions in the Wolfson Institute of Preventive Medicine at Queen Mary University of London, said in a press release. “The reduction was greatest in those who switched to e-cigarettes completely, but even those who were dual users at 4 weeks had reduced exposure to carbon monoxide and acrolein.”
McRobbie and colleagues analyzed 33 adult smokers who wanted to quit to assess exposure to carbon monoxide, nicotine and acrolein before and after 4 weeks of e-cigarette use.
Participants attended a baseline visit 1 week before their target quit date to provide baseline measures and written consent. The participants could then smoke at-will until their target quit date. At that time, participants received their e-cigarette and received instructions and told to use it whenever they felt like it.
Sixteen participants stopped smoking completely and only used e-cigarettes, while the remaining participants used both conventional and e-cigarettes.
Carbon monoxide exposure decreased 80% from 15 ppm to 3 ppm in the participants who solely used e-cigarettes for the 4 weeks (P < .001). Carbon monoxide also decreased in participants who used both conventional and e-cigarettes (23 ppm to 11 ppm, 52%; P = .001.
Acrolein levels decreased at 4 weeks by 1,280 ng/mg creatinine (79% decrease) in participants who only used e-cigarettes and 1,474 ng/mg creatinine (60% decrease) in dual users.
While the results are favorable toward e-cigarettes, more research is needed according to McRobbie.
“These results suggest that e-cigarettes may reduce harm compared with conventional cigarettes, even in dual users, but longer-term studies are needed to confirm this,” he said in the release. – by Ryan McDonald
Disclosure: McRobbie reports being the clinical director at The Dragon Institute. McRobbie also reports receiving speaking fees from Johnson and Johnson and research and speaking fees from Pfizer. Please see the full study for a list of all other researchers’ relevant financial disclosures.