Health & Medicine

E-Cigarettes may Reduce the Risk of Lung Cancer from Tobacco Smoke, But Long-Term Risk is Still Unknown

Kathleen Lees
First Posted: Jul 31, 2014 01:57 PM EDT
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The verdict on the dangers of e-cigarettes isn't quite out yet. Some data suggests that replacing tobacco products with vaporized smoke could help to reduce the risk of lung cancer. However, other findings note the uncertainty regarding the devices' safety.

A new study published in the journal Addiction claims that the added health benefits of using the device outweigh any negative ones associated with it--at least, for now. 

"Current evidence suggests that there is a potential for smokers to reduce their health risks if electronic cigarettes are used in place of tobacco cigarettes and are considered a step toward ending all tobacco and nicotine use," said study researcher Thomas Eissenberg, co-director of the Center for the Study of Tobacco Products at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, via Health Day.

For the study, researchers reviewed the results of 81 studies that had focused on e-cigarette safety concerns, including chemicals, liquids and vapors present in the products; this was studied among smokers as well as non-smokers.

Findings revealed that smoking-related deaths could be decreased by using e-cigarettes instead of tobacco products.

Though these findings certainly bring happy news to the health industry, some health officials reiterate that the jury on future potential health problems in the future is yet to come.

"This is not the final list of risks, others may emerge," said study author Peter Jajek, a professor at Queen Mary University in London, via BBC News. "But regulators need to be mindful of crippling the e-cigarette market and by doing so failing to give smokers access to these safer products that could save their lives. If harsh regulations are put in place now, we will damage public health on a big scale."

Though there is no evidence, yet, that the vapor from e-cigarettes is harmful, any health risks associated with long-term use of the device are still unclear.

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