Since Public Health England released the conclusion that “e-cigarettes are at least 95% less harmful than cigarettes”, no other country in the world has been so positive about e-cigarettes. Especially under the repeated resistance of the WHO, the largest consumer market for e-cigarettes, the United States, which accounts for more than 50% of the world’s share, has gradually put pressure on e-cigarettes. However, the FDA has recently released an official paper, arguing that the harm reduction effect of e-cigarettes can reach up to 95%!
Recently, researchers from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), one of the world’s most authoritative public health agencies, published a research paper in the journal “Tobacco Control”, pointing out that e-cigarettes are less harmful than cigarettes and have certain harm reduction properties. . When smokers switch to e-cigarettes, the biomarker levels of various carcinogens (such as benzene, 1,3-butadiene, acrolein, etc.) in their urine will drop, up to 95%.
Public Health England identified as early as 2015 that e-cigarettes can reduce harm. The reason is clear: 69 kinds of carcinogens are produced during the combustion of tobacco, and e-cigarettes do not contain tobacco and have no combustion process, so they can reduce 95% of the harm of cigarettes. But specific to certain carcinogens, such as tobacco-specific nitrosamines, benzene, etc., can e-cigarettes reduce their harm, and to what extent?
Authorized by the U.S. Congress, FDA is the highest law enforcement agency specializing in food and drug management in the United States. The researchers searched and screened more than 5,000 relevant studies from August 2013 to February 2021, and reached the following two main conclusions:
1) In terms of the degree of harm, electronic cigarettes are less than cigarettes
The study divides the survey subjects into two groups: e-cigarette users and cigarette smokers. The data shows that the content of carcinogens inhaled by e-cigarette users is generally less than that inhaled by cigarette smokers. For example, benzene (metabolite is S-PMA), a carcinogen related to leukemia, studies have shown that the level of S-PMA in the urine of e-cigarette users is significantly lower than that of cigarette smokers, and there is no significant difference with non-smokers.
However, the study did not analyze the data on tobacco-specific nitrosamines, carbon monoxide and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), which are the “culprits” of tobacco harm. FDA researchers said in the introduction to the paper that multiple studies around the world have confirmed that the biomarker levels of these three substances in the urine of e-cigarette users are either extremely low or undetectable. There is no doubt that e-cigarettes can reduce the main harm of cigarettes.
2) Electronic cigarettes have the effect of reducing harm, and smokers can choose to switch to electronic cigarettes
Since e-cigarettes are less harmful, can smokers switch to e-cigarettes to improve their health? FDA researchers conducted a related survey, and the data showed that after smokers switched to e-cigarettes, the levels of inhaled biomarkers of harmful substances were significantly reduced: the biomarker levels of a class of carcinogen benzene in urine decreased by 87%-94%. , the first-class carcinogen 1,3-butadiene decreased by 55%-95%, the second-class carcinogen acrolein decreased by 70.5%-91%, and the second-class carcinogen acrylonitrile decreased by 78%-94%.
In addition, after smokers switched to e-cigarettes, the levels of biomarkers of carcinogens such as acrylamide, ethylene oxide, and vinyl chloride in urine were also reduced. Some of these carcinogens are related to heart disease and lung disease, and some are irritants to the eyes, respiratory tract, liver, kidneys, skin or central nervous system. Long-term inhalation is extremely harmful to health.
“More and more smokers are switching to e-cigarettes, and we hope our findings can inform scientific research, clinical practice and health policy,” said Marzena Hiler, a member of the FDA’s Center for Tobacco Products and one of the paper’s lead authors.