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Peering Through MistPeering through the mist: systematic review of what the chemistry of contaminants in electronic cigarettes tells us about health risks (2013)
Dr. Igor Burstyn, Drexel University School of Public Health,  Environmental and Occupational Health,
BMC Public Health 2014, 14:18, doi:10.1186/1471-2458-14-18, Published: 9 January 2014

Authors’ Conclusions: Confirms that chemicals in electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) pose no health concern for users or bystanders.  This is the first definitive study of e-cigarette chemistry and finds that there are no health concerns based on generally accepted exposure limits.


Development of a questionnaire to assess dependence on electronic cigarettes in a large sample of ex-smoking e-cig users (2014)
Jonathan Foulds, PhD et al., Penn State University, Department of Public Health Sciences
Oxford Journals, Nicotine & Tobacco Research, doi: 10.1093/ntr/ntu204, First published online: October 19, 2014

Authors’ Conclusions: Common sense analysis says that e-cigarettes are much less toxic. This paper shows that they appear to be much less addictive, as well. So in both measures they seem to have advantages when you’re concerned about health.


Impact on schizophrenicsImpact of an electronic cigarette on smoking reduction and cessation in schizophrenic smokers: a prospective 12-month pilot study (2013)
R. Polosa et al., Director of the Institute for Internal and Emergency Medicine of the University of Catania and Centre for Tobacco Research (CPCT),
International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 2013 Jan 28;10(2):446-61. doi: 10.3390/ijerph10020446

Authors’ Conclusions: The use of e-cigarettes substantially decreased cigarette consumption without causing significant side effects in chronic schizophrenic patients who smoke not intending to quit. This was achieved without negative impacts on the symptoms of schizophrenia as assessed by SAPS and SANS symptoms scales.


Longitunignal StudyA Longitudinal Study of Electronic Cigarette Use in a Population-Based Sample of Adult Smokers: Association With Smoking Cessation and Motivation to Quit (2014)
l. Biener and J. Hargraves, Center for Survey Research, University of Massachusetts, Boston, MA
Nicotine & Tobacco Research Journal, 2014 Oct 9. pii: ntu200, PMID: 25301815

Authors’ Conclusions: Daily use of electronic cigarettes for at least 1 month is strongly associated with quitting smoking.


Intentions to SmokeIntentions to Smoke Cigarettes Among Never-Smoking U.S. Middle and High School Electronic Cigarette Users, National Youth Tobacco Survey, 2011-2013 (2014)

R. Bunnell et al., Office on Smoking and Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA
Nicotine & Tobacco Research Journal, 2014 Aug 20. pii: ntu166, PMID: 25143298

Authors’ Conclusions: Between 2011 and 2013, the number of never-smoking youth who used e-cigarettes increased 3-fold. Intention to smoke conventional cigarettes was 43.9% among ever e-cigarette users and 21.5% among never users. E-cigarette use was associated with increased intentions to smoke cigarettes.

Critical Review: This study does not tell us if the intention to smoke came before or after they started using the e-cigarette, only that e-cigarette users more often had intentions to smoke.Based on this type of evidence, it would be just as fair to conclude that the user would have had the intent to smoke even in the absense of access to e-cigarettes. It may be that the e-cigarette actually prevented the youth from smoking conventional cigarettes. The authors also fail to mention that youth smoking has consistantly declined since e-cigarettes came on the market in 2011. Never-smoking e-cigarette users need to be tracked over time to see if they are actually moving from e-cigarettes to smoking. However, it should also be noted that the percentage of never-smoking e-cigarette users was significantly less than 1% of those surveyed.


Particulate MetalsParticulate metals and organic compounds from electronic and tobacco-containing cigarettes: comparison of emission rates and secondhand exposure (2014)

Arian Saffari et al., University of Southern California, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
Environmental Science: Processes & Impacts, 2014,16, 2259-2267, DOI: 10.1039/C4EM00415A

Authors’ Conclusions: Overall, with the exception of nickel, zinc and silver (likely originating from other components of the e-cigarette device or other indoor sources,) the consumption of e-cigarettes resulted in a remarkable decrease in secondhand exposure to all metals and organic compounds. Implementing quality control protocols on the manufacture of e-cigarettes would further minimize the emission of metals from these devices and improve their safety and associated health effects.


Evaluating AerosolsEvaluation of electronic cigarette liquids and aerosol for the presence of selected inhalation toxins (2014)

K. Farsalinos et al., Department of Cardiology, Onassis Cardiac Surgery Center,
Nicotine & Tobacco Research Journal, Nicotine Tob Res (2014), doi: 10.1093/ntr/ntu176

Authors’ Conclusions: Median daily exposure levels od iacetyl and acetyl propionyl were slightly lower than the strict NIOSH-defined safety limits for occupational exposure and 100 and 10 times lower compared to smoking respectively; however, 47.3% of DA and 41.5% of AP-containing samples exposed consumers to levels higher than the safety limits. Their presence in e-cigarette liquids represents an avoidable risk. Proper measures should be taken by e-cigarette liquid manufacturers and flavoring suppliers to eliminate these chemicals from the products.


Do you know of any other research about e-cigarettes or other smoke-free alternatives? Please comment below!

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