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New research published in the Journal of American Medical Association (JAMA) Open Network found that e-cigarettes are less toxic than regular cigarettes.

Researchers discovered that the concentration of nicotine equivalents was 93% lower for e-cigarette users versus regular cigarette smokers.

The study reported that 6.7% of US adults have used e-cigarettes in the past month, which translates to more than 16 million Americans. 84% of these e-cigarette users are current or former cigarette smokers.

The study looked at cigarette and vaping health risks, following 5,105 participants, including non-users, vapers, cigarette smokers, and dual users (those who both smoke and vape). Most of the participants were between 35-54 years of age.

Researchers studied fifty biomarkers in the body that measure exposure to toxicants, including nicotine, metals, tobacco-specific nitrosamines (TSNA) which are known to cause certain types of cancers, and volatile organic compounds (VOCs). While vapers were exposed to more toxicants than non-users, both groups were exposed to significantly lower levels of toxicants than cigarette smokers. The study also found that dual users (those who both smoke and vape) had the highest levels of toxicants in their bodies. The authors of the study suggested that some dual users might be in the process of switching from the more harmful smoking of combustible cigarettes to vaping e-cigarettes. Theodore Wagener, an assistant professor at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, and director of tobacco regulatory science research at the Oklahoma Tobacco Research Center stressed that a “clear health messages must be delivered to smokers that completely switching from smoking to e-cigarette use is necessary to confer a significant reduction.”

While long-term vaping health risks are still unknown because the technology is relatively new, the study is another positive sign that vaping may be a healthier option for those who are seeking to quit smoking.

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