Study: E-cigarettes are significantly less harmful than traditional cigarettes

The global authoritative journal of toxicology “Toxicology in Vitro” published a paper by the team of Yu Suhong, an associate researcher at Fuzhou University, pointing out that the impact of e-cigarettes on cells is significantly less than that of traditional cigarettes.

This study used exosome proteomics technology for the first time to compare the effects of e-cigarettes and cigarettes on human bronchial epithelial cells. Exosomes are small intracellular membrane vesicles that contain complex RNA and proteins and can be used as biomarkers for early diagnosis and prognosis of diseases such as cancer.

The research data showed that cigarette condensates caused more exosomal protein expression differences in cells, and were significantly enriched in intracancerous pathways; while e-cigarettes caused fewer differences. At the same time, toxicology studies have found that cigarette condensate significantly inhibits cell activity, while e-cigarette condensate has no similar negative effects, suggesting that e-cigarettes have relatively little cytotoxicity.

(Paper published in Toxicology SCI Journal “In vivo Toxicology”)

In recent years, many studies have found that e-cigarettes may be a “harm reduction product”.

In 2021, Penn State University School of Medicine in the United States published a paper in “Cancer”, stating that electronic cigarettes can not only be used as an effective smoking cessation tool, but also reduce the production of lung carcinogens in smokers. In 2022, the “Nature” magazine published a review stating that for patients with periodontal health, e-cigarettes may be a safer alternative to nicotine, which can reduce the risk of oral cancer.

Associate researcher Yu Suhong said that this study is the first to systematically analyze the safety of cigarettes and e-cigarettes starting from exosomes, filling the gaps in related fields.

“The research results show that compared with traditional cigarettes, e-cigarettes are relatively less harmful and may be a harm-reducing product,” Yu Suhong believes, “but e-cigarettes are not completely harmless, and non-smokers should not use them.