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5: Propylene Glycol Inhalation
The most widely-used vaporizing compound in e-cigs is propylene glycol, and this has been studied in monkeys and rats in a similar fashion to the nicotine rat research above. Glycol-inhaling animals were compared with ordinary air-breathing controls over a period of between one and one and a half years. They were exposed to between 50 and 700 times the quantities of the compounds you’d get from breathing air saturated with the substance, and the researchers found no ill effects aside from weight gain in rats and drying of the skin in monkeys exposed to high levels of a different glycol (triethylene).
4: Second-Hand Exposure
A 2012 study compared the risks of second hand e-cigarette exposure to that from tobacco smoke exposure by measuring the levels of various chemicals in the atmosphere of a closed room. They found that although there are some chemicals released from an e-cig, the levels of them rendered the vapor “far less harmful for the human health compared to regular tobacco cigarettes.” They cited the low levels of the chemicals and the lack of a “side-stream” (as you’d get from the tip of a tobacco cig) led to e-cigs being much, much safer for bystanders.
3: Smoking Cessation
The fact that e-cig companies aren’t allowed to say their products can help people quit smoking might lead you to think that they aren’t effective for the purpose. One of the many pieces of research into the whether e-cigs can help smokers quit looked at smokers who didn’t actually want to quit. They found that 55 percent of participants sustained either a 50 percent reduction in cigarette consumption or abstained entirely, and the group as a whole consumed 88 percent fewer cigarettes per day after the 24 week study.
2: More Cessation and Working Memory
Another piece of research which looked at the effects of e-cigarettes on quitting smoking randomly assigned participants to either a nicotine e-cig, a nicotine free e-cig or to just hold one. The participants rated their desire to smoke and the withdrawal symptoms at three stages after using the e-cigarette. The nicotine and nicotine-free e-cig groups had a reduced desire to smoke, with the nicotine strangely making more of a difference for males. It also threw up another interesting result, that those who consumed nicotine had an improved working memory.
1: Why They Work
The final piece of research that you need to know about looked at specifically why e-cigarettes are effective for helping smokers quit. The researchers concluded that bio-behavioral feedback, social benefits, the “hobby” element, the sense of personal identity and the fact that you can still enjoy nicotine without tobacco were the main elements which make e-cigs effective in helping smokers quit.