Vapers have much lower cancer risk than smokers

Posted by DrMendelsohn on 5 August, 2017

Darth Vapour.jpgE-cigarette users have a dramatically lower risk of cancer than smokers.

This was the finding of a review of the research published today in the journal Tobacco Control. While cancer-causing chemicals (carcinogens) are found in e-cigarette vapour, the vast majority are at much lower levels than cigarette smoke, and the risk from most chemicals is <1% compared to tobacco smoke.

The study reviewed the level of chemicals found in vapour, the cancer risk from each substance and calculated lifetime cancer risk for vaping compared to smoking tobacco.

The  two most dangerous carcinogens in tobacco smoke are not present in vapour.

'Acrylonitrile and 1,2-butadiene account for more than three-quarters of the cancer risk from tobacco smoke and are not found in vapour at all'.

This should be reassuring for vapers and those considering using an e-cigarettes. There is a common misconception that e-cigarettes are as harmful as smoking. Research continues to demonstrate that this is not the case. Switching to an e-cigarette dramatically reduces cancer risk as well as the risk of many other smoking-related diseases.

However, vapers should take care to avoid high power settings. Excessive power levels in third and fourth generation devices can generate higher levels of carbonyls (formaldehyde, acetaldehyde), which are known carcinogens. This typically causes 'dry puffs' which produce a burnt taste which leads to stopping immediately. Vapers need to be aware of this risk and keep power levels to a minimum.

 

Reference

Stephens WE. Comparing the cancer potencies of emissions from vapourised nicotine products including e-cigarettes with those of tobacco smoke. Tobacco Control 2017

Commentary by Dr Michael Siegel, Professor of Public Health, US

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