A study that compares human exposure to cigarette smoke, electronic-cigarette vapor and nicotine replacement therapies has been described as unique, and an important contribution to the debate on electronic-cigarette safety.
Dr. Ed Stephens, senior research Fellow at the University of St Andrews was commenting at sciencemediacentre.org.
He was one of four public health experts to comment on the study. The others were: Jamie Hartmann-Boyce, senior researcher in health behaviours at the University of Oxford and managing editor of the Cochrane Tobacco Addiction Group; Prof. Kevin Fenton, national director of health and wellbeing at Public Health England; and Prof. Peter Hajek, director of the Tobacco Dependence Research Unit at Queen Mary University of London.
Stephens said in part that one slightly unexpected finding was that combined smoking and vaping did not offer any long-term health benefit while smoking continued. But, he added, if initial dual use led to quitting altogether then the health gains could be significant.
“There may be additional hazards in vaping that have yet to be discovered, but the best evidence to date should encourage smokers who are thinking of taking up vaping for health reasons to progress to stopping smoking quickly and completely, then gradually wind down their vaping.”
The study, Nicotine, Carcinogen, and Toxin Exposure in Long-Term E-Cigarette and Nicotine Replacement Therapy Users, by Lion Shahab et al, was published in Annals of Internal Medicine on Monday.