After two years studying a group of people using electronic cigarettes in their everyday environments, researchers in the UK could find no negative impacts on their health from their vaping activity. The clinical trial was carried out to look for any risks associated with long-term vaping, and used smokers as subjects with a view to getting them to kick their unhealthy habit and take up a better alternative.
Altogether, 209 volunteer smokers were used in the trial, the results of which are due for publication in the journal Regulatory Toxicology and Pharmacology. Researchers continuously monitored their vital signs and lung function as they used e-cigarettes, and performed electrocardiograms to measure heart health. They also probed subjects’ exposure to nicotine from their e-cigarettes and took into account any withdrawal effects from tobacco cigarettes, as well as their desire to keep on smoking instead of vaping.
The study, called Evaluation of the Safety Profile of an Electronic Vapour Product Used for Two Years by Smokers in a Real-life Setting, used ordinary closed-system electronic cigarettes for the two-year period. After examining all the health data at the end, it could not find any adverse health effects. Even though those taking part had stopped smoking, they did not experience such common conditions as subsequent weight gain, and they did not encounter the usual withdrawal symptoms when they stopped smoking tobacco cigarettes.
The research was carried out on behalf of Fontem Ventures, a leading vaping company headquartered in Amsterdam, Netherlands, and with a research arm in Liverpool, England. The firm, which makes the popular blu e-cigarette brand that people can try with a blu e-cig starter kit, also has what it calls a “lifestyle energy brand,” called Reon.
“This study shows that after two years of continual e-cigarette use, there were no signs of serious health complications in smokers,” said Fontem Ventures’ Scientific Affairs director, Tanvir Walele. “Clinical data over a two-year period gives us a much clearer picture about longer-term vaping, and the potential implications for the health of smokers, so they can make an informed decision.”
Based on the results of the study, Walele called on governments and policymakers to “ensure that regulatory frameworks reflect this emerging scientific consensus, as more long-term research demonstrates the safety profile of e-cigarettes.” The research, said Walele, “suggests we need e-cigarette regulation that is not modelled on tobacco product regulation, but encourages innovation and compliance with robust product quality, manufacturing and safety standards.”
Getting Better by Stopping Smoking
During the course of the 24-month study, some subjects did experience some “adverse events“, but these, it said, were mild symptoms associated with coming off tobacco. The researchers reported that 28.7% experienced headaches when they stopped smoking and the same number caught colds, while 19.6% had a sore throat. Another 16.7% developed a cough, but the study noted that all the symptoms soon disappeared.
The study also noted that in the second month of the trial, the subjects’ nicotine withdrawal symptoms decreased, and as time went on, so too did their desire to smoke tobacco cigarettes. It said that the aerosol from heated e-liquid in the e-cigarettes that were used “was well tolerated and not associated with any clinically relevant health concerns after usage for up to 24 months.”
Meanwhile, in another development in vaping and one that’s occurring on the other side of the world, one of the main supermarkets in New Zealand has started selling e-cigarettes. This comes as the Pacific nation is hiking the cost of cigarettes in an attempt to get people to stop smoking and for the country to go almost entirely smoke-free by 2025. It is also a sign that vaping is increasingly moving into the mainstream, as more studies such as the one outlined in this article are published and more governments advise people to take up vaping as a way to stub out smoking for good.