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E-cigarettes have as much nicotine as real cigarettes: study

Meritxell Mir · 2 Nov 2011, 11:25

Published: 02 Nov 2011 12:30 GMT+01:00
Updated: 02 Nov 2011 11:25 GMT+01:00

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Pioneering research conducted in Geneva shows that electronic cigarettes often contain as much nicotine as real cigarettes, and twice as much as other replacement therapies such as nicotine patches.

The results of the study, conducted by researchers from the universities of Geneva and Auckland, have been published in the November issue of the European Respiratory Journal.

The report shows that electronic cigarette users and regular smokers have similar levels of cotinine, a product of the degradation of nicotine by the liver.

This is the first time cotinine data has been published after studies on electronic cigarette users in real-life conditions.

Previous laboratory data tracked inexperienced users who tested e-cigarettes briefly before their blood was tested for nicotine. These earlier studies showed that inexperienced users displayed only minor traces of nicotine, or none at all. 

The new research conducted with 30 former smokers shows that experienced users in real life conditions receive a dose of nicotine comparable to the amount they would get from actual cigarettes.

Story continues below…

In addition, the levels of cotinine in electronic cigarettes have double the amount of nicotine found in other products used by smokers to quit, such as patches, said Jean-François Etter, head of the study and researcher at the Institute of Social and Preventive Medicine in Geneva.

It’s not all bad news, though. Even if fake cigarettes still contain nicotine, Etter told news agency ATS that smokers who use them “are not exposed to some 4,000 toxic substances present in tobacco cigarettes.”

Meritxell Mir (news@thelocal.ch)

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Your comments about this article

2012-01-26 21:42:27 by Kristinnm
"It's not all bad news, though?" What "bad news?" E-cigarettes are intended as replacements for traditional cigarettes. Therefore, they need to have a suitable amount of nicotine in them or people will just keep smoking. The fact that they have more nicotine than patches and gums is a GOOD thing. Have you not seen the recent news reports about the long-known (but kept quiet) fact that patches and gums are a dismal failure at helping people quit smoking? Nicotine is a stimulant and has no worse health effects as other similar stimulants, such as caffeine. Yes, it can be addictive, but it is NOT a carcinogen. The point of e-cigarettes is to end exposure to SMOKE, not to cure people of addiction. They are for people who will not or cannot quit smoking. So, if they are going to be using nicotine, the GOOD NEWS is that there is now an option for smokers that are as satisfying as traditional cigarettes (without the high levels of toxins and carcinogens) that works better than trying to quit nicotine using ineffective patches and gums. Interesting that this article attempts to spin good news to seem bad.
2011-11-09 18:13:14 by Jesse Gaddis
I own a small vapourette (what we call e-cigarettes) brand here in Brooklyn called Bedford Slims and a big challenge for us has been getting New Yorkers to stop the traditional smoking and pick up a vapourette. The best way to do that is to give them the dosage comparable to a conventional cigarette. I think the question that's best raised here is how does this nicotine replacement therapy compare in relation to other cessation tools like the patch? True, the patch and gums contain half the nicotine, but they also only fair half as good in cessation studies. source: http://bit.ly/vCCYPo When a heroin addict decides to quit the methadone dosage must be comparable at first. Someone who decides to quit drinking coffee can prevent headaches if they just do a few days of drinking tea first. The same is true with cigarettes and nicotine. The most effective way to ween someone off virtually anything is in lowering the dosage a little at a time.
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