Scientists conduct randomized trial to assess e-cigarette versus traditional cigarette use

Reviewed by Emily Henderson, B.Sc.

 

Scientists and medical professionals have long debated whether pod e-cigarettes are a safer alternative to traditional cigarettes. A new study provides some insight.

In a collaboration between The University of Kansas Cancer Center, California State University San Marcos and Brown University, scientists conducted a six-week-long randomized trial comparing e-cigarette use to traditional cigarette use in African American and Latinx smokers. E-cigarettes simulate tobacco smoke via battery-powered devices that work by heating a liquid into a vapor that the user inhales.

Nikki Nollen, PhD, co-program leader of KU Cancer Center’s Cancer Prevention and Control research program, served as site principal investigator.

“Fourth generation e-cigarettes contain high concentrations of nicotine and other appealing features that may support switching and reduce potential health risks among those who smoke combustible cigarettes,” Dr. Nollen said. “We wanted to examine the biomarkers of exposure in both groups and determine the risk-benefit tradeoff of e-cigarettes.”

Those who switched to e-cigarettes experienced a significant reduction in a certain biomarker called NNAL. When NNK, a tobacco-specific lung carcinogen is metabolized, it converts to NNAL, indicating the body’s exposure to tobacco products. E-cigarette users also experienced a dramatic drop in carbon monoxide and self-reported respiratory symptoms. Nicotine exposure, lung function and blood pressure remained unchanged.

“What was most surprising was the magnitude of change experienced by those in the e-cigarette group,” Dr. Nollen said. “They reduced their NNAL by 64%, carbon monoxide by 47% and respiratory symptoms by 37% compared to those in the control group who continued to smoke cigarettes as usual.”

Dr. Nollen and the team were also surprised to witness that a complete switch to e-cigarettes was not needed to achieve benefits. Those in the e-cigarette group who only partially switched – i.e., became dual users of both cigarettes and e-cigarettes – also experienced reductions in NNAL, carbon monoxide and respiratory symptoms, though to a lesser degree than those who made a complete switch.

The findings of the clinical study – the first such trial to examine fourth-generation salt-based nicotine e-cigarettes – were published in JAMA Network Open.

Improving disparities

To recruit participants for the study, Dr. Nollen and her team leaned on a 20-year partnership with Swope Health Services Central, a federally qualified health center located in Kansas City, Missouri. More than 85% of Swope’s patient population is African American. KU Cancer Center members have teamed up with Swope on 10 studies over the last two decades.

Overall, African Americans and Latinxs tend to smoke less compared to other ethnicities, but they are more likely to develop and die from tobacco-related health issues.

The two minorities have largely been underrepresented in e-cigarette studies. Excluding these groups from such studies only worsens the uneven burden of tobacco-related deaths and disease they experience.

According to Dr. Nollen, longer studies must be conducted in order to understand the long-term effects of e-cigarettes, but this study may serve as a springboard for additional research endeavors.

“Quitting cigarettes is the priority. But for those unwilling or unable, our findings support using e-cigarettes as a harm reduction strategy for African American and Latinx smokers who experience significant tobacco-related health disparities.”
-Nikki Nollen, PhD, Site Principal Investigator and Co-Program Leader, Cancer Prevention and Control Research Program, University of Kansas Cancer Center

Source:
Journal reference:

Pulvers, K., et al. (2020) Effect of Pod e-Cigarettes vs Cigarettes on Carcinogen Exposure Among African American and Latinx Smokers A Randomized Clinical Trial. JAMA Network Open..doi.org/10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2020.26324.

(This article first appeared here.)

 

Share:FacebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmailFacebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmail

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Translate

Follow WordPress.com on WordPress.com

Follow Us

FacebooktwitterpinterestyoutubetumblrinstagramFacebooktwitterpinterestyoutubetumblrinstagram

Recent Comments

Donate via PayPal

Donate Via Patreon

Twitter Feed

Wednesday, September 15th, 2021 at 8:28pm
Everyone should read @Vaping360 , including this article underlying the promise #POTUS #Biden made recently, and how it's in direct conflict with the newly porposed Federal Taxes. https://t.co/sCjU6sBmCB
Tuesday, August 10th, 2021 at 11:12pm
@lmstroud89 OK uh.. how did ANYONE think an #OPIOID did not cause physical dependence ? The whole premise is ridiculous. Also, the #fentanyl and #heroin crisis did NOT start at the doctor's office, data shows this.
Tuesday, August 10th, 2021 at 11:07pm
Uhh.. sure.. this isn't marketing to #kids and #teens ... course not no.. but we can't let #adults have #flavors when it comes to #vapes cuz hey it might tempt #children ! https://t.co/qeLJV9bCry TheVaporNinja photo
Tuesday, August 10th, 2021 at 10:40pm
@phil_w888 The #tobacco in #cigarettes contains up to 750 times more #diacetyl , the chemical alleged to cause #popcornlung , than most #vape liquid that is available. https://t.co/K3cp6zJTW2
Wednesday, August 4th, 2021 at 9:26am
@lmstroud89 ..and yes 480k deaths in USA alone from TOBACCO.
Put your energy where it's deserved most.
Wednesday, August 4th, 2021 at 8:39am
@lmstroud89 oh .. and let me REMIND you.... 480K deaths from TOBACCO....
Wednesday, August 4th, 2021 at 8:35am
@lmstroud89 The fact that you don't know what happened in 2016 only highlights your ignorance in these matters. Stick to vaping.
Friday, July 30th, 2021 at 2:05pm
@lmstroud89 You know @lmstroud89 you should stick to the war on #vaping. You do a MUCH better job at it.
    Load More