Sunday September 22, 2019

Study Claims, Effective Way To Quit Smoking Emerges To Be E-Cigarettes

According to the team, "despite increasing awareness and regulatory measures to discourage cigarette smoking, the tobacco burden across the world has not shown significant decline over the years".

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The study authoritatively concluded that newer generation ENDS was an efficient means of meeting the nicotine demand, and could help the cigarette smoking population quit the addiction and prevent tobacco harm reduction. Pixabay

A first-ever Indian study has found that Electronic Nicotine Delivery System (ENDS), also known as e-cigarettes, pose much less a health risk than combustible cigarettes and could be an ideal tool to reduce or give up smoking.

Published in the Indian Journal of Clinical Practice (IJCP), the study, involving a “systematic review of 299 published scientific literatures”, was conducted by Prof R.N. Sharan and his team from the North-Eastern Hill University, Shillong. It compared the toxicities of nicotine, other chemicals and metal ions produced during cigarette smoking and use of e-cigarettes.

According to the team, “despite increasing awareness and regulatory measures to discourage cigarette smoking, the tobacco burden across the world has not shown significant decline over the years”. In such a scenario, alternatives for tobacco harm reduction like ENDS or e-cigarettes, need to be evaluated.

Prof Sharan told IANS: “This up-to-date systematic review and meta-analysis is the first attempt by experts in India to audit the health and safety aspects of conventional cigarette smoking and ENDS in order to objectively evaluate the suitability of ENDS as a less harmful alternative to conventional smoking.”

The study authoritatively concluded that newer generation ENDS was an efficient means of meeting the nicotine demand, and could help the cigarette smoking population quit the addiction and prevent tobacco harm reduction.

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Also, use of ENDS was found to be 7.53 times higher in smokers than in non-smokers, which indicates that, contrary to perception, e-cigarettes are less likely to be a gateway to nicotine use but are more likely used by smokers to reduce tobacco harm or quit smoking. Pixabay

Among the key findings, the experts concluded that toxic chemicals such as carcinogens and other toxicants were found in significantly higher quantities in conventional cigarette smoke as compared to the vapour from an e-cigarette.

“For instance, metal ion Cadmium, which is a Class 1 carcinogen, a respiratory, reproductive and developmental toxicant, was found to be over 1,369 times higher in cigarette smoke than ENDS vapour. Similarly, Lead and Chromium, which are Class 2a probable carcinogens, were over 12 and 13 times, more respectively in cigarette smoke.”

Cigarette smoke was also found to have “significantly higher levels of Class 1 carcinogens such as formaldehyde (over 8 fold), benzene (22 fold) and NNK (over 92 fold), and Class 2a probable carcinogens, including acetaldehyde (over 91 fold), Propanediol (over 53 fold) and Isoprene (over 17 fold), among others, in comparison to vapour of e-cigarette.”

On the other hand, however, the study also found that Nickel, a Class 2b possible carcinogen, was four-fold more in e-cigarette vapour than in cigarette smoke.

The researchers also found that the risk of acute toxicity from direct ingestion of nicotine was highly unlikely to arise due to e-cigarette use, as ENDS delivered about 1mg of nicotine in blood (equivalent or lower to a cigarette), whereas it’s known toxic level was in the range of 30-60 mg.

Speaking about the possible risks arising from the physical makeup or design of ENDS devices, the study warned that, “Poor materials and build quality, lack of quality control and improper use of ENDS can give rise to a potential accident hazard called “thermal runaway” in lithium rechargeable batteries.

However, the experts added that “with technological advancement and optimisation of safety features, these concerns can be adequately addressed.”

Finally, the authors of the study found that “ENDS usage was higher among former smokers than non-smokers by nearly 4.13 fold, signifying that they could potentially become a useful aid in smoking cessation.

smoking
Among the key findings, the experts concluded that toxic chemicals such as carcinogens and other toxicants were found in significantly higher quantities in conventional cigarette smoke as compared to the vapour from an e-cigarette.Pixabay

“Also, use of ENDS was found to be 7.53 times higher in smokers than in non-smokers, which indicates that, contrary to perception, e-cigarettes are less likely to be a gateway to nicotine use but are more likely used by smokers to reduce tobacco harm or quit smoking.

Also Read: Social Media Impacting The Attitude of Teenagers Towards Their Bodies

The team comprised Dr. Sambuddha Das and Dr. Yashmin Choudhury from Assam University, and Dr S. Thangminlal Vaiphei from Central University of Rajasthan.

Prof Sharan, who is a former President of the Indian Society for Radiation Biology, said: “Through this study, we have called for rational policy-making with the objective of maximising benefits and minimising potential risks by extending the benefits of ENDS to smokers who choose to use them as smoking cessation tools, while preventing the misuse of ENDS by never smokers, adolescents and children.” (IANS)

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Usage of E-cigarettes Doubled Among US Kids in Two Years

Researchers have found that the number of kids vaping nicotine in the US has doubled in the past two years

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New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is pushing to enact a statewide ban on the sale of flavored e-cigarettes amid growing health concerns connected to vaping. Pixabay

Researchers have found that the number of kids vaping nicotine/ e-cigarettes in the US has doubled in the past two years.

Data from the 2019 Monitoring the Future Survey that included children in Classes 8, 10 and 12, shows alarmingly high rates of e-cigarette use compared to just a year ago, with rates doubling in the past two years, according to the study published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

“Parents with school-aged children should begin paying close attention to these devices, which can look like simple flash drives, and frequently come in flavours that are appealing to youth,” said study lead researcher Richard Miech from the University of Michigan in the US.

“National leaders can assist parents by stepping up and implementing policies and programs to prevent use of these products by teens,” Miech said.

e-cigarettes, nicotine, us, kids, smoking
National leaders can assist parents by stepping up and implementing policies and programs to prevent use of these products by teens. Pixabay

The new data shows a significant increase in vaping of nicotine in the past month in each of the three grade levels since 2018.

In 2019, the prevalence of past month nicotine vaping was more than one in four students in Class 12, one in five in Class 10 and one in 11 in Class 8.

ALSO READ: Quit Alcohol For Improved Mental Health, Say Researchers

“With 25 per cent of 12th graders, 20 per cent of 10th graders and nine per cent of 8th graders now vaping nicotine within the past month, the use of these devices has become a public health crisis,” said Nora D. Volkow from National Institute on Drug Abuse in US.

“These products introduce the highly addictive chemical nicotine to these young people and their developing brains, and I fear we are only beginning to learn the possible health risks and outcomes for youth,” Volkow added. (IANS)