- Aug 19, 2003
Isn't it poor research though? Not had a chance to look into it.
Here we go.
No, there's still no evidence e-cigarettes are as harmful as smoking
Professor Linda Bauld unpicks recent headlines around a study looking at the impact of e-cigarette vapour on human cells, and finds little support for the claim that they’re as harmful as smoking
Thursday 31 December 2015 13.22 GMTLast modified on Thursday 31 December 201514.32 GMT
Just under a year ago, I wrote a response to an article by a journalist who claimed there was no evidence that vaping is less harmful than smoking. Since then, many new studies have been published, including a Cochrane review showing their promise for aiding smoking cessation, and a comprehensive review for Public Health England that concluded, as previous reports have done, that e-cigarettes were significantly safer to users than continuing to smoke.
Yet the debate in the media rages on, fuelled in part by misleading press releases from journals and academics. The latest example involves a study published online in the journal Oral Oncology in November, but press released just this week, at a time when many smokers are making new year resolutions to stop smoking. The press release cited the lead author who concluded that ‘based on the evidence to date, I believe that [e-cigarettes] are no better than smoking regular cigarettes’.
So what did the study involve? A team who specialised in studying head and neck cancer conducted a lab study that exposed human epithelial cells (the type that line the mouth and lungs) in Petri dishes to the vapour from two brands of e-cigarettes. The cells were treated with e-cigarette extract every three days for up to eight weeks, with some of the extract containing nicotine and some being nicotine-free.
At the end of the treatment period, the cells were harvested and examined for damage using established methods. The treated cells were more likely to show DNA damage, and some of the cells died. The authors highlight in the press release that DNA strand breaks were observed, damaging the cellular repair process, and that this can ‘set the stage for cancer’. Worse damage was observed in the cells exposed to the e-liquid that contained nicotine, but the nicotine free liquid also altered the cells. ...