Editor’s Note: Just so you’re aware, comments conveying anecdotal stories or arguing that anecdotes issue here will not be authorized.
Evidently, Jenny McCarthy is now pitching them. Some folks weren’t amused. I don’t actually trust Ms. McCarthy on almost any health related issues. But people have asked me if there’s any actual damage reduction by using their use. That’s a question worth asking.AC
I visited the medical literature. Unfortunately, there’s very little there. But here’s what I can find (with regard to clinical trials on humans):
A 2010 evaluation found that lab studies reveal that carcinogen levels in e-cigs are considerably lower than conventional cigarettes. It also remarked on some of the studies below.
They measured want to smoke. The tobacco e-cigs decreased desire to smoke over the placebo, and were more well tolerated compared to inhalers.
They instead tried to encourage them to reduce consumption via the utilization of e-cigs. They found that more than half the participants decreased smoking by at least 50% at 34 months without significant unwanted side effects.
2012 research found that active or passive exposure to tobacco smoke increased lymphocyte counts, white blood-cell coulds, and granulocyte counts for at least one hour. E-cigs did not, nor did a management situation.
They measured desire to smoke and withdrawal symptoms. Women had favorable effects with energetic usage of both e-cig, but guys did better with nicotine.
An unblinded prospective 2013 study of e-cig used in 12 schizophrenic smokers for a year found it decreased consumption with no major unwanted side effects. Of course, this isn’t a RCT, rather than definitive.
A 2013 research of 15 smokers and 15 non-smokers were exposed to nothing, tobacco smoking, and e-cig smoke (active for smokers and passive for nonsmokers). Nicotine exposure, measured by cotinine levels, was comparable in both cigarette types. But lung function was impaired by traditional cigarettes, rather than with e-cigs.
A 2013 randomized controlled trial gave 300 smokers full strength e-cigs, partial strength e-cigs, or placebo e-cigs for 12 weeks. At one-year, they found that general use and exhaled carbon monoxide declined in all three groups. But there were no differences between groups, and by a year, just 9% had stop and 10% more had a decrease. So it’s unclear in the event the tobacco was crucial, and how powerful the results were. Here’s a write-up on such study.
That’s about it. If I missed anything major, I want to know.
My ideas? In case you’re searching for a means to help you stop, there’s a tiny bit of evidence they will help, but that evidence favors placebo e-cigs about around tobacco e-cigs. There’s a bit of proof that e-cigs are better than traditional cigarettes for lung function, although these studies are truly small and passing. There’s also some small number of proof that e-cig smoke changes lab values less compared to the smoke of conventional cigarettes, although the clinical meaning of this is cloudy. Therefore it’s hard to get overly worked up about e-cigs.
But tobacco-smoking is dreadful, full-stop. If something is not as horrific, I don’t see how we completely rule that out without some idea. As pediatricians, when parents or family can’t discontinue smoking, we ask them not to smoke around children. Why? Because we don’t need the best to be the enemy of the good. We’d rather have some improvement than none.
I don’t see enough evidence to get completely psyched about e-cigs. I wish they were better regulated. However, I see enough assurance to merit some larger RCTs.