A lot of readers email us the same question every day, “Are electronic cigarettes harmful to my health?” We used to respond to every email and comment individually…and then we got smart.
For your researching pleasure, here are summaries of 5 recent e cig safety studies that will help answer your burning e cig health questions.
And remember, there is a lot of contradictory information out there about electronic cigarette safety and health risks, so read as much as you can and make your own, informed opinion.
For more information, check out our article “How Safe Are Electronic Cigarettes?”
Author: Konstantinos Farsalinos, doctor at the Onassis Cardiac Surgery Center, Athens, Greece.
Summary: According to Dr. Farsalinos, E-cigs have little to no effect on the “cardiac function of the heart.” He also discussed the fact that nicotine is present in e-liquid (unless you choose a zero-nicotine option) but that “it is absorbed at a slower rate than in cigarettes.”
Author: Professor Igor Burstyn, Drexel University School of Public Health
Summary: In the first study ever funded by “The Consumer Advocates for Smoke-free Alternatives (CASAA) Research Fund,” Professor Burstyn specifically focused on the chemicals which make up the “liquid” part of the e-cig. After extensive research, he found its make-up is not harmful to users.
Carl V. Phillips, the Scientific director at CASAA concluded that E-cigarettes and other many other tobacco-free alternatives are “about 99% less harmful than smoking, and so smokers who switch to them gain basically the same health benefits as if they quit tobacco and nicotine entirely.”
Authors: McAuley TR, Hopke PK, Zhao J, Babaian S. (Consulting for Health, Air, Nature, & A Greener Environment)
Summary: E-Cig emissions don’t affect indoor air quality! After testing the compounds present in E-cigs, and comparing the risk of second-hand harm to humans (indoors) to that of cigarette smoke, the researchers found that there was “no apparent risk to human health from e-cigarette emissions based on the compounds analyzed.”
Study: Electronic Cigarettes as a Harm Reduction Strategy for Tobacco Control: A Step Forward or a Repeat of Past Mistakes?
Authors: Michael Siegel, professor of Community Health Sciences at Boston University’s School of Public Health and Zachary Cahn, a grad student at Berkley, with a focus on “substance control policies.”
Summary: E-cigs can help reduce cravings for tobacco, partly due to its nicotine content, but not solely! The researchers found that even non-nicotine “placebos” help too. In other words, just the mere physicality of holding a cigarette-like apparatus (like an e-cig) can potentially be enough to satisfy cravings and therefore help a smoker wean off tobacco.
The researchers also concluded that “tobacco companies, based on their history of lies and deception, simply cannot be trusted to develop and market a safer tobacco alternative.”
Study: Action on Smoking and Health
Author Quoted: Amanda Sandford, research manager for ASH in London
Summary: In various articles on electronic cigarettes, Amanda Sandford is quoted as saying “Nicotine, compared to tobacco smoke, is relatively benign. It is the addictive component of tobacco, of course, and that is what keeps people coming back to smoking, but the harm [in smoking] comes largely from the inhaling of tobacco smoke…Nicotine itself, once it is isolated and extracted from tobacco and just used in its pure state, is relatively harmless.”
Make sure to check out our resources section for more info, studies, guides, research and more!