January 07, 2014

NYU Dental Researchers Claim E-Cigs Might Be Worse Than Smoking

In the kind of announcement that looks years out of date already, researchers at New York University claimed that electronic cigarettes might pose more risk to users than smoking.  The argument they’re making is that the high frequency and heavy draws vapers are likely to indulge in will deliver more nicotine and other toxins to their body than smoking.

To someone that knows nothing about electronic cigarettes, smoking, and the research done thus far, this might actually sounds like a reasonable hypothesis.  Many people posed the question years (yes, years) ago, but it is mostly a subsided concern among individuals that have kept up with the science.  Just goes to show that even the people doing the research might not be keeping up with what else has already been looked into and the results.

So far all the studies looking at the toxicological impact of electronic cigarettes have found that you can’t even really compare them to conventional cigarettes.  Most toxins in tobacco smoke occur below the threshold of detection in e-cig vapor — meaning between none and almost none.  Even the absorption of nicotine into e-cig users was far lower than in smokers.

According to a statement from the researchers, they’re going to analyze the saliva and oral mucosa from College of Dentistry patients who are e-cig users.  They’ll then compare it to that of smokers to determine if, in fact, e-cigs do pose more risk than cigarettes.  It seems highly unlikely that they’ll actually find what they’re looking for.  Even if they do, say, find more nicotine in the saliva of e-cig user, it seems unlikely that it will mean anything significant as most nicotine is absorbed in the lungs — and cigarettes are designed to make the process as streamlined as possible.

The researchers seem to be gunning for a knock against electronic cigarettes.  If they succeed, they’ll certainly be the talk of the town, but it still seems unlikely.  We’ll keep an eye out for when the results come in.

abc4
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