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Nicotine absorption from electronic cigarettes
Jonathan Foulds, PhD posted:
Yesterday an important new study of nicotine absorption from different types of electronic cigarettes was published in the journal Scientific Reports, by Dr Konstantinos Farsalinos and colleagues of the Onassis Cardiac Surgery Center in Greece. This study recruited 23 experienced electronic cigarette users (used for an average of 19 months after over 20 years of smoking), who attended the laboratory on 2 separate occasions, having abstained from nicotine for at least 8 hours each time. On one visit they were provided with "first generation" electronic cigarette: one that is a very similar size and shape as a traditional cigarette with a single low-capacity battery. On the other occasion they were provided with "new generation" electronic cigarette, with a larger battery and controls to regulate the power delivery to the battery. At each visit the e-cigarettes were filled with identical 18 mg/ml nicotine concentration liquid and the participants were instructed to take 10 puffs during the first 5 minutes of "vaping" and then to puff as they felt like it for the next hour.

When using a typical first generation "cigalike" e-cig the blood nicotine concentrations increased by only 2.1 ng/ml over the first 5 minutes and by a total of 13 ng/ml over 65 minutes. When using the larger "new generation" type of e-cig, the blood nicotine levels increased by 4.1 ng/ml in 5 minutes and by 21 ng/ml over 65 minutes. In addition to delivering more nicotine, the larger e-cig was more effective in reducing craving and withdrawal symptoms, and was more "satisfying".

So the key findings here are that, consistent with prior studies, electronic cigarettes that are the same size and shape as a regular cigarette are capable of delivering nicotine but at much lower levels (less than one fifth, or 20%) than delivered by smoking a regular cigarette. If one continues to puff on one of these e-cigs for over an hour, meaningful blood nicotine levels ( >10 ng/ml) capable of reducing cigarette cravings can be obtained but it takes quit a lot of time and effort. The more advanced, larger e-cigs are able to deliver almost twice as much nicotine and so are more satisfying and effective in reducing cravings, but even the advanced model used in this study delivered nicotine much more slowly and at less than half the levels obtained by smoking a regular cigarette. To put it another way, it took an hour of puffing on even an advanced electronic cigarette to obtain the same blood nicotine concentration that could be obtained by smoking a cigarette for 5 minutes.

These results suggest that all electronic cigarettes are not the same. More advanced e-cigs may be significantly more effective in helping smokers quit and helping them to stay off smoking. But even these types of e-cigs, with 18 mg/ml concentration juice deliver a relatively small dose of nicotine. Some smokers may require more effective nicotine delivery than this, and maybe higher nicotine concentration juice to help them switch from cigarettes. These results also suggest that yesterday's proposal from the European Commission to limit the maximum concentration of nicotine in e-cigarette liquid to 20 mg/ml was a mistake.
The full study report can be found by clicking on Dr Farsilanos above.

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  • E-cigarettes will improve public health by reducing smoking
  • E-cigarettes will harm public health by increasing smoking
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ecigbeliever responded:
Are you trying to upset the conservative democrats , joking ,but this needs to be on the news,all they put on the news is negativity and lies
rayyeates responded:
Thank you Dr. Jonathan Foulds for posting this research information. I am a user of an electronic device to help me keep away from smoking. I have COPD and could not quit. I only started using this device after intensive research and user testimony because as you know my breathing is already labored and I needed something safe enough not to make it worse. It's been six months and I can honestly say I have not smoked a real cigarette since. I use my device less and I have even cut back on the level of nicotine in liquids I order. They worked and I am grateful and tell everyone where ever I go to quit smoking and when they ask me what I am using I educate them on this ingenious device. Thanks again for the honest article. Have a great day too.
thebramble responded:
It's great to see some validation and promotion of these studies, by an expert.

The results of this study does not surprise me. Ask anyone who uses an eCig for over a month and then tries to smoke tobacco. My first and last "slip" since quitting was 3 hits off a cigarette before I turned green and felt overdosed on nicotine. I quietly put it out and went back to my vapor. I love being able to run again.

A tobacco addiction is not even remotely similar to what I now consider a mild physical dependence on clean nicotine. There is something fierce and hatefully addicting in cigarettes that I don't believe will be found in eCigs -- any more than are found in nic gum or patches. People should use what works for them. I also think tobacco cessation support/counseling (which I had with previous quits) is very helpful in tandem with whatever else they decide to use.
thecatsdad responded:
E-cigarettes should be left alone.

I was a smoker for over 35 years. I'd tried to quit smoking so many times, using patches, gum, nasal spray, mouth spray, Champix, lozenges, etc. None of these worked.

I had a heart attack in March 2013 and needed angioplasty and a stent fitted. My relatives were told I may not make it. I was told that if I didn't quit smoking, I could be dead within a year. Once again, I started using patches and nasal spray in combination. Having a heart attack scared me into staying off the cigarettes for a couple of weeks or so. The cravings and withdrawal symptoms were too much. I even smoked while wearing a patch.

A friend of mine was given an e-cigarette for Christmas. She stopped smoking immediately. She kept telling me to get one. I was sceptical, after all patches and the like didn't work. Why should e-cigarettes?

A month ago, I bought a cigarette type e-cig. It helped a little, but wasn't strong enough for me and the small battery didn't last long enough.

A few days later I bought a 3.5ml tank and large variable voltage battery. I stopped smoking the same day.

Since I started vaping I have had absolutely no cravings or withdrawal symptoms. My breathing has improved vastly. Before I quit smoking, I couldn't walk very far or at a decent speed without gasping for air. Going uphill was a struggle. Since I started vaping, I not only can walk faster and for longer. I can actually run.

If nicotine content is reduced or refillable tanks get banned then the cigarette style e-cig will be pretty useless.

I actually enjoy vaping and have no intention of giving it up.
sagaa40 replied to thebramble's response:
tried a analog cigg after three weeks and i felt sick from it and it tasted like garbage
undefined responded:
One caveat; e-cigarettes will improve public health if the anti-tobacco extremists and government will let them. There are quite a few scientific studies, including others by Dr. Farsalinos, that lead us to believe that e-cigarettes are at least 90% safer than traditional tobacco cigarettes, yet the ALA, ACS, et al and certain government entities continue to insist that they're as dangerous if not more so. I'm beginning to believe that money talks louder to certain individuals than the health of millions of smokers who finally have a workable solution to a horrible habit.
mccrazylady5 responded:
I have been vaping for 5 years now. I smoked tobacco for 45 years, and no matter what method I tried that was government sanctioned, none of them was able to get me off tobacco. I feel great more more choking and gasping for breath. E-cigs have been a Godsend for me, and now my husband who has used tobacco longer than I did has made the switch. He has been tobacco free for 3 months now, and no longer smokes tobacco. He has COPD, and we have noticed that since he switched, his puffer use has gone way down. We are True Believers in this gamechainging device. We use e-cigs with nicotine here in Canada.
lollylulubes responded:
15 months vaping for me & no going back whatever laws come in. Family history of lung cancer, so I need ecigs. Tried an analogue about a week after I started vaping and it tasted truly disgusting. The UK Gov rake in about ?14 billion a year from tobacco tax. Ecigs are decreasing smoking 8% pa, it can only grow and takes nothing from the public purse, whereas Gov Tobacco Control forecast their new TPD measures reducing smoking 2% over 5 years and they take ?millions. They don't want us to stop - neither do Big Pharma - ecigs are trashing NRT sales so they've been lobbying furiously against us. OTC NRTs have been proven to be no more effective than quitting unaided. Gov have appeased Big Pharma with the 20mg/ml nicotine level, it's no mistake. To sell at a higher nicotine level, if it's agreed,

vendors need a medical licence. On the whole, only jumped on the bandwagon Big Tobacco, with their cigalikes can afford this and hope to clean up on the prescription market.

Med regs are what all the Governments ultimately want, but even
with the current TPD restrictions, it amounts to a defacto ban on all the original innovators and vendors and every piece of superior equipment on the market. We will be left with ineffective cigalikes, largely owned by Big T - own goal
Government. They are largely used as an introduction to vaping because they're often readily spotted in newsagents and garages but, with experience, vapers move on to much better models, mostly online, only these will be banned and 20mg/ml is not enough for at least 30% of smokers to successfully switch. The whole TPD has been underhand and several EU Treaties contravened. Propaganda is rife, vapers and experts have been ignored and scientists' work misrepresented. Money is more important to them than health.

Please join in the fight to save ecigs by adding your support here: We need 1 million signatures from EU citizens by 25th November, 2014. If you value vaping and want to help make sure effective ecigs are available for 1 billion smokers forecast to die early this century, please take a moment to sign and pass it on to friends and family. You can also find help and information on Twitter. Many of us read every ecig research study we can find and know they're 99% safer than smoking so, ask a question using #ecigs in the text and there will always be someone, if not several of us, chiming in to assist. Vape on!
thebramble replied to sagaa40's response:
Usually when I quit, when I slip and have a cigarette, it is the most delicious, most satisfying thing on earth. I'm not sure why it was different this time, but I think it's the flavors.

I get nervous when regulators start talking about taking flavors away. As you quit smoking, you enjoy flavors like you haven't enjoyed them in a long time. Flavors reinforce the quit, in my opinion.

Don't judge me for being over 40 and liking gummy bears, bubble gum, PB&J, and apple pie... go and enjoy your toasted cardboard and cotton balls and mind your own business.
ryanviola responded:
Its a great help in reducing smoking. I vote in favor of E-cigarettes
italian48vaper replied to thecatsdad's response:
Congratulations on making the switch. My breathing was similar. It has been 25 months since I started using my device. Now we need to convince our legislators that there is nothing to fear.
GaryWolf responded:
I was a twenty year smoker and quit using a vape pen. It has saved my life. I tried so many times to quit and I did for short periods but I haven't had the urge or even wanted to smoke a cig. This is a good vape review if you want to quit smoking

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