New Study: No Evidence E-Cigs Cause Cell Damage or Death

Klaus Kneale
by Klaus Kneale
June 11, 2013

7293479A new study in the medical journal Inhalation Toxicology has found that 20 out of 21 electronic cigarette brands showed no signs of cytotoxicity (that is, toxicity that causes cell damage or death).  The study makes yet another compelling argument that electronic cigarettes do not cause an amount of harm necessitating harsh regulations and bans.

The study came from Italian and Greek researchers and was led by Dr. Konstantinos Farsalinos who has been researching electronic cigarettes since 2008 and finding promising results.

You can find the abstract here.

The study found that only in one coffee-flavored electronic cigarette brand did any evidence of cell damage or death appear and only at the highest dilution tested.  All other brands and all lower dilutions of the coffee-flavored brand showed no evidence of cytotoxicity.  In the one instance that cytotoxicity was found, it was two orders of magnitude lower than that of cigarette smoke.

This raises two strong points for the electronic cigarette world.  First, the damage electronic cigarettes do to the user may actually be even lower than researchers and experts had previously thought.  Having previously rated electronic cigarettes between 1 and 5% as dangerous as conventional cigarettes, that may need to be revised to something closer to .1%.  But we’ll let the real experts decide on that.

Second, the researchers behind the study theorize that the reason cytotoxicity was only found in the one coffee-flavored brand was likely flavor additive related.  It seems likely that something in the flavor ingredients had more to do with cytotoxicity than any of the other ingredients since those ingredients existed in 20 other brands and none showed signs of cell death or damage.

This certainly means that ingredients quality control and testing needs to occur in the world of electronic cigarettes.  While this isn’t something anybody argued against, it highlights the issue more than ever before.  Ingredient choice — if it is indeed the culprit — can determine whether an e-cig exhibits no cytotoxicity or some cytotoxicity.

Want to learn more about the research being done on electronic cigarettes.  We have a list here.


23 Responses to “New Study: No Evidence E-Cigs Cause Cell Damage or Death”

      kelli perkins on June 11th, 2013 10:48 am

      Finally some of the truth comes out. Hate that on the coffee though one of my faves. But yet way better than a ciggy. Now if we can keep rj and the big ciggy companies off of little brothers already building business. Remember people united we stand divided we fall.

        aikanae on June 11th, 2013 6:35 pm

        I’ve heard the additive flavor of sweet cream can cause chemical reactions. This is easy to avoid.

          Mays on June 13th, 2013 9:49 am

          The flavoring they likely are speaking of is called Diacetyl. It is found in some Chinese manufactured e-liquids, and also in some American made. With the increasing awareness of what it does to the human body, it is highly regarded in the ‘vaping’ community as a ‘no no.’ Diacetyl and acetoin are compounds added together to give a ‘buttery’ taste. These two compounds are most commonly found in artificial butters, margarines, and popcorn flavoring. Coincidentally, it is found in some e-liquids as well. While it is regarded as GRAS (Generally regarded as safe) by the FDA it may be proven hazardous when heated and inhaled over long periods of time.

            kelli perkins on June 15th, 2013 1:11 pm

            Isn’t that what they had a problem with doing popcorn butter. The workers inhaled it daily.

              Mark on June 21st, 2013 8:09 am

              I haven’t read the entire article that was published yet but based on the abstract it looks like further clinical trials need to be completed. This study was based on cells, and not on humans like us… So the evidence is not there if harm can be done on humans as a whole!

                Andrew garratt on July 16th, 2013 7:20 am

                Hi thought I might say something . I’ve been using green smoke ECigs for 1 year now all flavours. After30 smoking. Just been diagnosed with esuphgus cancer.lost my terrible cough but still got cancer.

                  Wendy Mcmanus on July 16th, 2013 11:05 am

                  My husband had osthagus cancer and. Was told he did not have to stop smoking as damage was already done but it would help in the future. He had the big operation and is now on e cigs with his doctors blessing. No guarantee once you have this option but he is doing fine at the moment. This was 18 months ago so fingers crossed.

                    Caroline on September 16th, 2013 8:43 pm

                    At least an honest study for once! I wish yall could send this to the fda and all the news channels so the truth will be told and set us free! Please and thank you.

                      Angela on September 16th, 2013 11:42 pm

                      It’s just something that the FDA wants a hand in to make money after all the more people who are vaping and not smoking they are losing those tax dollars! My dad had server COPD from smoking, since going to vapor he does not cough all night long and is breathing and sleeping better. So I don’t think they can compare the two at all! It had helped my dad a great deal!

                        alisha on September 17th, 2013 8:24 am

                        I have seen dramatic changes in my husband who was a smoker for 20 years. Once he quit regular cigarettes, I switched and the difference is amazing. I think its funny how everyone is making a HUGE deal about vaping. Eating a cheeseburger from McDonalds puts plenty of chemicals in your body that causes cancer, but I don’t see people stop anyone from doing it. And I am sorry Andrew Garret that you have been diagnosed with cancer, that really sucks. But considering you did smoke for 30 years can you really blame it on the e-cig? I had an uncle that quit smoking entirely, was never around anyone that smoked and 3 years later was diagnosed with esophagus cancer and had to have part of his mouth and tongue removed. The doctor said it was because he had smoked for 40 years and the damage was already done. I used the ecig to finally quit smoking. And after 3 months I quit the e-cig because I weaned myself off of nicotine.

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                                                Kyle Harrison on January 23rd, 2015 12:00 am

                                                Excellent informational article indeed. Smoker of 20 years here and I’ve quit smoking recently using a vaporizer from the recommendation of a friend. I sleep better, food tastes better, and not to mention i smell better. E-cigs are the future. Imagine how many lives we can save if every cigarette smoker switches to E-cigs.

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