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A new study revealed – e-cigarettes are safer than conventional ones?

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Posted March 31, 2017

Even bad habits are following trends. We know so much about how harmful smoking really is that one would think eventually people will just stop smoking. One day we will look back at smoking like it is just a weird silly thing people used to do in the past. But for now there are new weird ways of smoking. However, a new study from UCL revealed that e-cigarettes are less toxic than old-school ones.

E-cigarettes are safer and less harmful than conventional ones, the authors of the new study say. Image credit: Lindsay Fox, ecigarettereviewed.com via Wikimedia, CC-BY-4.0

There is a lot of information about e-cigarettes at the moment. Recently they got back into the spotlight because of numerous reports about them literally exploding in people’s mouths. However, scientists say there is a number of health benefits in switching from regular cigarettes to smoking e-cigarettes or nicotine replacement therapy. People who did that enjoyed lower levels of toxic and cancer causing substances in their body already six months after the change. Scientists analysed saliva and urine samples of long-term smokers and found that levels of key toxins differ quite substantially.

Interestingly, some people do not make a complete switch and are smoking both conventional cigarettes and e-cigarettes. Scientists showed that they do not see such improvement in toxic chemicals and carcinogen levels in their body. Therefore, a full switch from one to another is needed. Dr Lion Shahab, lead author of the study, said: “We’ve shown that the levels of toxic chemicals in the body from e-cigarettes are considerably lower than suggested in previous studies using simulated experiments. This means some doubts about the safety of e-cigarettes may be wrong”. Also, e-cigarettes can help people quitting smoking altogether, because the amount of nicotine in them is pretty much the same as in conventional cigarettes.

Of course, this says nothing about e-cigarettes exploding in people’s mouths and pockets. But it is not a real danger. While some cases spawn some viral gruesome pictures that are circling social media, there really is not many of them. And at the same time cancer is a real threat. Most tobacco-caused deaths are due to cancer, which means that e-cigarettes is simply a better alternative. In fact, scientists believe that they could reduce the number of deaths and cancer cases significantly.

Of course, quitting smoking is the best of the alternatives, but not all people are able to do it easily. E-cigarettes can help them quit or at least reduce the harm these people are causing on themselves.

Source: ucl.ac.uk

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