E-Cig Items From The SRNT’s Annual Meeting

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SRNT Europe (Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco) had its annual meeting at the beginning of this month.  Electronic cigarettes were mentioned a number of times.  Here’s a rundown of the e-cig items that occurred during the event.

The event notes can be read here.

E-Cigarettes: The Views Of Smoking Cessation Staff in the United Kingdom A survey of stop smoking service managers, commissioners and advisers in the UK found that 86% had been asked about electronic cigarettes in the previous 6 months.

• Roughly two-thirds of the staff that had spoken to clients using e-cigs regularly said their clients were using them to quit smoking–3% said their clients were using them to cut back on smoking and 10% said they were using them when they weren’t allowed to smoke.
• Half of the staff with clients using electronic cigarettes to quit thought they were helpful–60% of staff with clients using them to cut back thought they were helpful to that end.
• Two-fifths of questions asked about electronic cigarettes pertained to where and how to get them, one-fifth concerned safety, and one-tenth concered effectiveness.
• Stop smoking stuff feel they lack the information to respond to questions accurately and appropriately.

Our thought: Only one-tenth of questions pertain to efficacy. This could be because most people have already made up their mind about electronic cigarettes or because it becomes evident very quickly that the stop smoking staff is not equipped to answer questions to this end–or perhaps both are true.

Cytotoxicity of Electronic Cigarette Vapor Extract on Cultured Mammalian Fibroblasts: Comparison with Tobacco Smoke Extract A set of research protocols has been designed to measure the impact of e-cig vapor extract on human cells and compare it to the impact of tobacco smoke extract.
• 10 difference commercially available e-cig liquids with 9mg/ml of nicotine were tested against a commercially available cigarette with 1mg nicotine, 10mg tar and 10mg carbon monoxide.
• Regular cigarette smoke extract showed significant cytotoxic effects.
• No cytotoxicity was observed from electronic cigarette vapor extract.

Our Thought: This is perhaps the most exciting study mentioned in any of the materials. Essentially, e-cigs look so much less harmful than conventional cigarettes that there’s hardly a comparison.

Characterization of Chemicals Released to the Environment by Electronic Cigarettes Use: Is Passive Vaping A Reality? Another bit of research has evaluated the amount and impact of chemicals electronic cigarettes release into the air.

• The test measured air quality in a closed environment with 5 users using cigarettes or e-cigs over 5 hours.
• Total organic carbon measured from cigarette smoke was 7.66mg/m3. Total organic carbon from e-cigs was 1.73mg/m3.
• Toluene, xylene, carbon monoxide, nicotine, acrolein, and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons were found in the smoking room air but not in e-cig room air.
• Researcher believe that the use of evaporation instead of combustion and an absence of many of the chemicals in e-cig vaporizing liquid contributed to the results.

Our Thought: Per the study, passive vaping is possible but vastly less harmful.

Electronic Cigarettes For Smoking Cessation: A Randomized Controlled Trial A study funded by the Health Research Council of New Zealand is looking into the efficacy of nicotine and non-nicotine electronic cigarettes versus nicotine patches.

• The study involves 653 individuals–290 are using 16mg nicotine e-cigs, 290 are using 21mg nicotine patches, and 73 are using zero nicotine e-cigs.
• The study uses 18 years or older individuals that have been smoking 10 or more cigarettes a day for at least a year and want to quit.
• Participants are encouraged to use standard Quitline behavioral support.
• Abstinence is verified by exhaled carbon monoxide testing.
• Primary challenges according to researchers are frequent battery failure and participant withdrawal from the trial.

Our Thought: Quitlines are well equipped to assist people in quitting with patches but not with electronic cigarettes. Encouraging all participants to use standard Quitline support will likely sway results in favor of nicotine patch use.

Use of Electronic Cigarettes Among Polish Adolescents and Young Adults As a part of the Polish national survey of tobacco and nicotine use among adolescents and young adults in 2010 and 2011, a look was taken at the popularity of e-cigs among young smokers.

• 20,240 secondary and high school students from ages 16 to 24 took part in the survey.
• 20.9% have tried electronic cigarettes–6.9% had used one within the 30 days previous to the survey.
• 54.8% believe electronic cigarettes are safer than conventional cigarettes.
• Researchers advise regulation of minors’ access to e-cigs and that anti-smoking and tobacco control groups start paying attention to alternative nicotine delivery products.

Our Thought: In 2009, roughly 29% of Poland’s population smoked. Around a quarter of 13- to 15-year-olds tried their first cigarette by age 10. If the risks of smoking can be reduced dramatically for a population so heavily ingrained in it, this could be the first steps toward fighting the epidemic.

Electronic Cigarette Use Among Korean Adolescents A survey of 1872 students in middle and high school near Seoul, South Korea looked at electronic cigarette related trends.

• 6.3% said they had used electronic cigarettes.
• Higher rates of electronic cigarette use were found for males, students that smoked, students with absent mothers or fathers with lower education levels, those doing poorly in school, and those dissatisfied or depressed.
• Those that used electronic cigarettes primarily (29.9%) got them from friends. Others got them from e-cigarette stores (21.4%), internet shopping malls (9.4%).

Our Thought: South Korea is another country with an extreme smoking problem. According to 2007 figures, 50% of South Korean adult men were smokers.

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