The viability of electronic cigarettes as an alternative to traditional smoking may be increasing according to a recent study conducted by a team of Greek researchers. The study concluded that the evolution of the traditional electronic cigarette into more advanced devices could produce a higher level of nicotine absorption. The far-reaching implications of the study could be an increased consideration of “vaping” as a safer method of nicotine consumption.
Nicotine Absorption is More Efficient in Newer Electronic Cigarettes
Researchers determined that over a period of one hour, the newer vaping devices produced a nicotine absorption that was 35 percent to 72 percent higher than the absorption afforded by first-generation devices. Perhaps most important was the discovery that both devices delivered one-third to one-fourth of the nicotine delivered by a tobacco cigarette following five minutes of use. The implication is that electronic cigarettes of both varieties introduce less nicotine into the system than tobacco cigarettes when used for the same amount of time.
Perhaps most interesting is that while new model electronic cigarettes delivered nicotine at greater levels than first generation devices, the newer models still resulted in less nicotine absorption than a tobacco cigarette. This would appear to lend strong credence to the assertion that electronic cigarettes could offer a significantly safer method of nicotine consumption.
The study concluded that in order to reach the nicotine disbursement level of tobacco cigarettes, the nicotine delivered by newer model electronic cigarettes would necessitate e-juices with a 50mg/ml consistency of nicotine.
In the present study, researchers compared the nicotine delivery of older model, traditional electronic cigarettes which are operated in a very basic manner to new model vaporizers which include a battery and tank or atomizer. Specific devices used in the study included the V2cigs first generation device and the EVIC and EVOD devices (See our KangerTechTop EVOD review) which are representative of new models. A pool of 23 former smokers were chosen to participate in the study, all of which now use electronic cigarettes as an alternative to traditional smoking. The same e-liquid blend was used in both experimental scenarios, and the concentration of nicotine was 18mg/ml.
All participants were asked to abstain from electronic cigarette use, caffeine use, and alcohol use for a minimum of eight hours prior to the commencement of the experiment. All participants registered lower dependence to electronic cigarettes as opposed to dependence on tobacco cigarettes on the Fagerström Test for Cigarette Dependence and the Cigarette Dependence Scale, seeming to indicate that their previous experience with electronic cigarettes was positive and beneficial in their attempts to quit smoking.
Blood samples were taken prior to the beginning of the study and after the requisite eight-hour period of abstinence. These samples established the baseline against which nicotine absorption was measured. Participants used the two respective models of electronic cigarettes for one hour and five minutes in total with measurements being taken every fifteen minutes and at the five-minute mark, respectively. The participants were required to take ten puffs in the five minute test but were allowed to ad lib their inhalation during the one hour experiment.
What Does this Mean?
While more studies are required before a definite conclusion regarding the efficacy of electronic cigarettes can be reached, there is significant cause, based on the present study, to conclude that the use of electronic cigarettes, particularly newer models, can be useful in helping individuals that wish to quit smoking. This is primarily due to the rate of nicotine absorption provided by newer devices which more closely resembles that of a tobacco cigarette. Yet, even though the nicotine disbursement of a modern vaporizer is greater than that of a first-generation model, it is still considerably less than that of a traditional tobacco cigarette.
An obvious question raised by this study is, are electronic cigarettes a safer alternative than tobacco cigarettes? One must logically conclude that this is potentially the case. At its heart, the study seems to indicate that former tobacco smokers are using less nicotine when they use either variety of electronic cigarette. Furthermore, their dependency on nicotine appears to be lower with electronic devices than with tobacco cigarettes.
Perhaps the most encouraging aspect of this study is that it will surely compel other researchers to dig deeper into the efficiency of electronic cigarettes as an alternative to tobacco cigarettes. More studies can lead to increased awareness, and increased awareness can lead to more smokers being willing to try electronic cigarettes. This study could also lead to additional funding for more research as health officials continue to seek solutions in response to tobacco use. At the very least, the study should encourage an open mind among the scientific community in regards to electronic cigarettes and their potential benefits. It is also reasonable to assume that the present study could encourage future efforts to create newer, more efficient devices.