E-cigarette studies, research and reports
Throughout this web site I've mentioned a number of studies, presentations, commentary from health professionals, special reports and various research carried out on e-cigarettes and vaping.
These pages feature a summary of all the research mentioned and some additional sources, brief descriptions of the reports and links to the actual study papers and statements.
Please note: I've started to list the research chronologically (i.e research/commentary publish date), so if you haven't visited this page for some time, you may find ecig studies you haven't seen in listings further down the page as I add items as I become aware of them.
Given the flood of research and studies now occurring, I've also split the pages up - this page features items from 2014 and a link to previous years is at the end the page.
First Vs. New Generation Vaping Devices : Nicotine Absorption
According to a study led by Dr. Konstantinos E. Farsalinos, the vaping devices and liquid used in in this research delivered one-third to one-fourth the amount of nicotine after 5 minutes of use compared to tobacco cigarettes - and the new generation of devices significantly outperformed first generation ecigs. Published February 2015.
Ecigarettes Save Lives
Derek Yach previously headed tobacco control at the WHO. He says he understands why anti-smoking activists are so distrustful of vaping and is one of those activists. However, he also acknowledges that the evidence is clear - ecigarettes are saving lives. He states everyone involved with tobacco control needs make up for 50 years of ignoring the simple reality - that smoking kills and nicotine does not. Published February 2015.
Ecigarettes, Vaping And Public Health (PDF)
A summary for policy makers by Clive Bates, former Director of Action on Smoking and Health (London). Mr. Bates was also the founder of the NGO Framework Convention Alliance, set up to support the development of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control. Published February 2015.
Vaping And Formaldehyde Study Questioned
The validity of a recent study showing high voltage vaping creating formaldehyde, a carcinogen, has been questioned by
Dr Konstantinos Farsalinos, who says there are many major issues in the way the research was carried out and the results presented. Published January 2015.
added note: a Reuters article on the same study reports one of the lead authors stated the study could have contained more context about overall relative risk, but the authors "just wanted to get it out."
New Study Indicates Vaping Not A Gateway To Smoking
More information is emerging that electronic cigarette usage doesn't pose a major threat in terms of subsequent uptake of smoking tobacco. In a study of 1300 undergraduate students in the USA, only three had taken up smoking after using electronic cigarettes as their introduction to nicotine. Only one student was continuing to use ecigs. Published December 2014.
Electronic Cigarettes Effective for Smoking Cessation
A systematic review of six studies, including two randomised controlled trials, concluded 18% of 1,242 participants reported smoking cessation after using e-cigarettes containing nicotine for a minimum period of six months. Vaping was also effective in reducing smokers’ daily cigarette consumption. Published December 2014.
Health Survey For England : Ecigs And Vaping (PDF)
Recently published results from the Health Survey for England state 3 per cent of adults were currently using e-cigarettes (vapourisers) in 2013. The Survey also found little evidence of ecigarette uptake by non-smokers. Among men, 29% of current smokers, 6% of ex-smokers and just 1% of never smokers had ever used ecigs and the proportions were similar for women. Published December 2014.
Ecigarette Carcinogen Reports Misleading
Dr Konstantinos Farsalinos addresses the media frenzy in connection with a misquoted study performed by Japanese researcher Professor Naoki Kunugita concerning carcinogens in ecigarette vapour. Published November 2014.
Added note: the UK's Daily Mail originally published an article stating this study found e-cigarettes contain 10 times more carcinogens than tobacco cigarettes. The Daily Mail has since published a retraction (found at the end of the article).
The Daily Mail now says "The study supports existing evidence that e-cigarettes are much less dangerous than tobacco products."
Gateway Myth Busted?
Concerns of electronic cigarettes being a gateway to smoking may be unfounded suggests data from the UK's Office for National Statistics. Fewer than one in 300 vapers who have never smoked are using ecigarettes. Published November 2014.
Vaping And Nicotine
Professor Peter Killeen is a behavioural neuroscientist . In this video, he discusses vaping, nicotine and its relationship to smoking and argues many assumptions made by scientists over the decades about the addictive nature of nicotine are wrong. Posted November 2014.
US High School Student Ecig Use
According to a survey by the CDC, in 2013, among all US high school students, cigarettes (12.7%) and cigars (11.9%) were the most commonly reported tobacco products currently used; current being at least 1 day in the past 30 days. Ecigarette use was at 4.5%. However, current use of only e-cigarettes was 0.6% among high school students; indicating perhaps that smoking students are looking for a less harmful option. Published November 2014.
Ecig Related Fires Rare (PDF)
More than 2.5 million Americans are using electronic cigarettes, but a paper from the U.S. Fire Administration says incidents involving fires and explosions are rare. Only 25 incidents were recorded between 2009 and 2014 and of those, 52% were classified as "minor fire spread". Published October 2014.
Effectiveness Of The Electronic Cigarette
A small study has found second-generation e-cigs to be immediately and highly effective in reducing cigarette craving and withdrawal symptoms. Published October 2014.
Trends In Ecigarette Awareness (AU/UK)
73% of UK respondents in this study reported their ecigarettes contained nicotine as did 43% in Australia, even though the sale, possession and/or use of nicotine-containing ecigs is illegal in Australia. (Abstract - published October 2014)
A Longitudinal Study of Electronic Cigarette Use
According to this study by researchers at the Center for Survey Research, University of Massachusetts Boston; intensive users of e-cigarettes were 6 times as likely as non-users/triers to report they quit smoking. Daily use of electronic cigarettes for at least one month was strongly associated with quitting smoking at follow up. (Abstract) Published October 2014.
Ecigarettes And The Bullshit Assymmetry Principle
Commenting on a rather interesting study proclaiming ecigarettes as a source of 'thirdhand' exposure to nicotine (and a rather minor source at that), Clive Bates applies the 'Bullshit Assymetry Principle'. Clive Bates has previously worked with ASH – Action on Smoking and Health. Published September 2014.
Various Factors Influencing Ecigarette Nicotine Yield
This study found depending on puff conditions and product features, 15 puffs from a personal vaporizer can provide far less or far more nicotine than a single tobacco cigarette. However, influences can be predicted well by a mathematical model of the relevant physics. Published September 2014.
Diacetyl, Acetyl Propionyl And Eliquids
Summary notes on a study evaluating the presence of diacetyl and acetyl propionyl in e-cigarette liquids. 74.2% of the samples contained either diacetyl or acetyl propionyl, but on average within safety limits - although some eliquids had higher levels. The authors also point out tobacco cigarette smoke contains levels 100 times higher for diacetyl and 10 times higher for acetyl propionyl compared to e-cigarette vapor average daily exposure. Published September 2014.
Particulate Metals And Organic Compounds
With the exception of nickel, zinc and silver, the use of e-cigarettes demonstrates a remarkable decrease in secondhand exposure to all metals and organic compounds according to this study. With regard to Ni, Zi and Ag; the report says implementing quality control protocols would further minimize the emission of metals. Published August 2014.
Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems (PDF)
A report from WHO examining what it states is emerging evidence on the health impacts of electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS) use. It says ecigs "represent an evolving frontier, filled with promise and threat for tobacco control". It also states, "The evidence and recommendations presented in this report are therefore subject to rapid change". Published August 2014.
NOTE: This report has been criticised by Dr. Konstantinos Farsalinos, who says the organisation continues to "maintain an overcautious approach and present one-sided evidence". Clive Bates says it is a modest improvement on WHO's previous extremist views, but still involves a hugely disproportionate regulatory response. Professor Gerry Stimson, Emeritus Professor at Imperial College London, says WHO is once again exaggerating the risks of e-cigarettes.
Busting The Ecig 'Gateway' Myth
A recent study discussed in Australian Medicine says electronic cigarette use is associated with smoking reduction and use of electronic cigarettes by non-smokers is rare not only rare, no migration from vaping to smoking has been documented. Published August 2014.
Effectiveness Of Ecigs In Quitting Smoking
A cross-sectional population study (5863 people) of the effectiveness of e-cigarettes as a quit smoking aid has found ecig users were more likely to report abstinence than either those who used other nicotine replacement therapies or no aid. Published August 2014.
Briefing On Ecigarettes For Policy Makers
A briefing on e-cigarettes and related policy issues by Clive Bates, who was previously involved with ASH (Action on Smoking and Health). In the UK. Mr. Bates points out vaping could save up to a billion lives in the 21st Century. Published July 2014
Ecig Benefits Outweigh Potential Harm
A Queen Mary University (UK) study has found that despite gaps in knowledge, current evidence concerning e-cigarettes doesn't justify the devices being more strictly regulated than, or even as strictly as, tobacco cigarettes. The study presents evidence from 115 references. Published July 2014.
Doctors Attitudes Towards Vaping
Two thirds physicians surveyed last year felt electronic cigarettes are a helpful aid for smoking cessation and 35% recommended them to their patients. Published July 2014
ECF Big Survey 2014 Results
Data from a survey of more than 10,000 vapers carried out by Electronic Cigarette Forum (ECF) is gradually being released. The 75 question survey had a 97% completion rate. Published July 2014.
Reclassification Of Nicotine Eliquids Under CLP Recommended (PDF)
A report by toxicology consultants, which has been verified by Professor Riccardo Polosa, Professor Bernd Mayer and Dr Jacques Le Houeze states eliquids with typical nicotine concentrations should be reclassified as CLP category 4 (the lowest); the same classification as washing up liquids. Currently nicotine eliquids have been classified as CLP category 2 or 3; alongside strychnine and formaldehyde. CLP is the set of regulations covering classification, labelling and packaging of substances and mixtures in the EU. Published July 2014.
Eliquids And Inhalation Toxins (PDF)
A summary of a study headed by by Dr. Konstantinos Farsalinos evaluating sweet-flavored eliquids for the presence of Diacetyl and Acetyl Propionyl. Published June 2014.
Glantz Letter "Misleading, Without Scientic Foundation"
A letter to the World Health Organisation in May (see earlier entry below) signed by 53 nicotine specialists and health professionals was criticised by anti-ecig crusader Stanton Glantz and a number of others. The 53 original signatories have returned fire; deconstructing Glantz's arguments. Published June 2014.
Myocardial Function - Tobacco vs. Ecigarettes (PDF)
A recent study found that while smoking causes a delay in myocardial relaxation, ecig use had no immediate effects. Published June 2014.
Effects Of E-cigarette Use On Exhaled Nitric Oxide
A study recently published in Toxicology and Applied Pharmacology that concluded based on nitric oxide (FeNO) levels, e-cigarettes are not safer than tobacco cigarettes and lung function is impaired has been labelled "arbitrary and completely wrong" by Dr. Konstantinos Farsalinos. Published June 2014.
E-Cigarette Vs. Nicotine Inhaler
A study comparing e-cigarettes with nicotine inhalers in terms of perceived benefits, harms, appeal, and role in quitting has found more subjects would use ecigs to make a quit attempt. Vaping devices gained a much higher total satisfaction score than inhalers. Published May 2014
Statement From Specialists In Nicotine Science And Public Policy (PDF)
Dozens of health professionals, including Australia's Dr. Coral Gartner, have signed an open letter to Dr Margaret Chan, the Director General of the World Health Organisation (WHO) with their concerns regarding the body ignoring the importance of tobacco harm reduction strategies such the use as electronic cigarettes. The letter states among other points that it is counterproductive to ban the advertising of e-cigarettes and other low risk alternatives to smoking. The communication states these products could be among the most significant health innovations of the 21st century and could save hundreds of millions of lives. Published May 2014.
ASH Scotland E-cigarette Briefing (PDF)
ASH Scotland current views on vaping and ecigarettes. Published May 2014.
Ecigarettes Boost Quitting Success Rates
A survey carried out by University College London has found smokers are approximately 60% more likely to report succeeding quitting smoking if they use e-cigarettes than if they use willpower alone or nicotine replacement therapies such as patches or gum. Published May 2014 in the journal Addiction.
High Voltage Vaping And Carbonyl Compounds
A recent study measured twelve carbonyl compounds in ecig vapors where battery output voltage was gradually increased from 3.2 to 4.8 V. It found vapour did contain some toxic and carcinogenic carbonyl compounds; but these varied between eliquids and were at much lower levels than cigarette smoke when lower voltages are used. High voltages significantly increased toxic compounds. Published May 2014.
Ecigarette Vapor And MRSA
A study presented in May at the 2014 American Thoracic Society International Conference states while e-cigarette vapor appears to boost the virulence of dangerous and medication-resistant bacteria such as MRSA, it's to a lesser degree than cigarette smoke.
Ecigs A "Much Safer Source Of Nicotine" (PDF).
A report commissioned by Public Health England states electronic cigarettes offer "vast potential health benefits", but requires appropriate regulation, careful monitoring, and risk management. "However the opportunity to harness this potential into public health policy, complementing existing comprehensive tobacco control policies, should not be missed." Published May 2014.
Ecigs Not A Gateway To Children Smoking (PDF)
In another report commissioned by Public Health England, the authors state they could not identify any evidence to suggest that non smoking children who tried e-cigarettes were more likely to then try tobacco. Published May 2014.
Ecigs Benefit Asthmatic Smokers
A study of asthmatic smokers has found those who used electronic cigarettes regularly showed objective and subjective improvements in asthma outcomes, and goes on to state: "This study shows that e-cigs can be a valid option for asthmatic patients who cannot quit smoking by other methods." Published in International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, May 2014.
Formaldehyde Release In E-cigarette Vapor
A study to be published in Nicotine and Tobacco Research states e-cigarette vapor can be the source of carcinogens, but the devil is in the detail according to Dr. Konstantinos Farsalinos. Published May 2014
E-Cigarette Awareness and Perceived Harmfulness
A study on awareness and perceived harmfulness of ecigarettes among U.S. adults has found 77% of respondents were aware of e-cigarettes and off this, only 51% believed e-cigarettes were less harmful than cigarettes. The study was published in American Journal of Preventive Medicine, May 2014. (The study results have caused concern in the vaping community and among some pro-vaping health professionals that misinformation campaigns are having an impact on public perception).
Safety Evaluation And Risk Assessment Of Electronic Cigarettes
A systematic review by Dr. Konstantinos E. Farsalinos and Riccardo Polosa states currently available evidence indicates electronic cigarettes are by far a less harmful alternative to smoking and significant health benefits are expected in smokers who make the switch from tobacco to ecigs. Published April 2014.
Use Of Electronic Cigarettes In Great Britain (PDF)
An ASH survey shows electronic cigarette use among adults in Britain has tripled over the past two years and according to the associated study's lead author (and as with the study that follows this item); there is no evidence to suggest ecigarettes are renormalizing smoking. Published April 2014.
Trends In Ecig Use In England (PPT)
A study by researchers from University College London
has found the use of ecigarettes by those who have never smoked is negligible. Evidence also indicates ecigs are not ‘renormalizing’ smoking - and they may be contributing to a reduction in smoking prevalence. Published April 2014.
Ecigs Among The Least Harmful Nicotine Delivery Products
A study that sought to estimate the harm level of various forms of nicotine delivery products rated cigarettes as the most harmful (overall weighted score of 100) and ENDS (electronic nicotine delivery systems) were rated among the least harmful. Published in European Addiction Research, April 2014.
AASCP Position Statement (PDF)
In a position statement released by the Australian Association of Smoking Cessation Professionals (AASCP), the body provides some support for ecigarettes and states the final decision to use the devices "belongs to the individual smoker, who should weigh up the risk and benefits and make a decision for their circumstances." It also mentions there is no evidence to support concerns ecigs are a gateway to smoking or normalise smoking. Published April 2014.
Nicotine Not The Great Satan?
It appears some of nicotine's bad reputation may be unfounded. As has been suspected for some time, it seems it's a combination of chemicals that make tobacco so addictive - in fact it's been shown to be "almost impossible" to get laboratory animals hooked on nicotine on its own. Of course, humans may be another story; but perhaps the degree of addiction is amplified when nicotine is consumed through smoking. Furthermore, nicotine also appears to have some therapeutic properties. Published March 2014.
Royal College Of Physicians' Stance
Switching completely from tobacco to e-cigarettes achieves much the same with regard to health as does quitting smoking and all nicotine use completely says the Royal College Of Physicians. The body goes on to say even in the absence of regulation, the risks to ecig users and others is low. Published March 2014.
"A Moral And Ethical Duty" To Provide Ecigarettes
In an open letter published on The Montreal Gazette; the medical director of the Smoking Cessation Clinic at the Montreal Chest Institute and other health professionals have voiced their support for the authorization of the sale of ecigs in Canada. In his letter, Dr. Gaston Ostiguy mentions states there is a "moral and ethical duty to provide these products to addicted smokers."
Ecig Gateway Effect Claims Deconstructed
A study by Professor Stanton Glantz and Dr Lauren Dutra on teenage smoking and ecig use has been thoroughly debunked by Clive Bates, who called the document "false, misleading and damaging". Mr. Bates was previously director of Action on Smoking and Health (ASH-UK). Published March 2014.
Glycerol Does Not Cause Lipoid Pneumonia
In March 2014, another story started doing the rounds of the media relating to a person who had contracted lipoid pneumonia and glycerol based eliquids were pointed to as the culprit. Dr. Konstantin Farasalinos details why glycerol cannot cause lipoid pneumonia.
Impact Of EU Ban On Higher Nicotine E-cigarettes On Smoking. (PDF)
The EU Tobacco Products Directive (TPD), which will limit nicotine eliquid levels to 20mg/ml, will curb the use of e-cigarettes says a report from London Economics. It estimates the TPD will result in the deaths of an additional 105,000 people a year in Europe. Published February 2014.
Real-World Effectiveness Of E-Cigarettes: A Population Study
This study found e-cigarette users were more likely still to be abstinent than either those who used NRT (Nicotine Replacement Therapies) bought over-the-counter or used no aid at all. Published February 2014 (abstract).
The Effects Of Nicotine On Human Health
According to the American Council On Science And Health, the relative risk of mortality from lifetime use of various tobacco and nicotine products is comparatively low. "Electronic cigarette vapor appears chemically incapable of causing cancer
as cigarette smoke has done." The report, Nicotine And Health, was published in January 2014.
Contaminants In Ecig Eliquids And Workplace Health Risks (PDF)
A study that reviewed available data on chemistry of ecig aerosols and eliquids found no evidence to suggest vaping produces inhalable exposures to contaminants that justify concerns relating to the health and safety of workplaces. Published January 2014.
A Longitudinal Study Of Ecig Users
A study carried out by has concluded electronic cigarettes may contribute to relapse prevention in former smokers and smoking cessation in current smokers. It also found in dual users who were still smoking at the point of follow-up had decreased their tobacco cigarette consumption by 5.3 cigarettes a day. Published January 2014.
More - research, studies and reports prior to 2014