More Positive Research News

Posted 28th December 2017 by Dave Cross
Brad Rodu has turned his hand to exploring what is the preferred method for American smokers looking to escape from tobacco-related disease. Ohio University’s Amir Farnoud led a team that looked at the potential for lung damage and concluded that vaping is clearly less harmful than smoking.

Brad Rodu has been arguing in favour of common sense and science on his blog Tobacco Truth. Recently, he took issue (again) with Stanton Glantz for his corruption of the scientific process. Unlike Glantz, Rodu doesn’t hide his latest study behind a paywall. “Quit Methods Used by American Smokers, 2013–2014” investigates the methods used over a 12 month period by current and former smokers.

Quitting cold turkey continued to be the single most popular choice for current smokers, followed by “support from family and friends”. But it was with vaping that they found the best chances of success rather than the other traditional quit tools.

Rodu said: “Federal officials have repeatedly claimed that there is no population evidence that e-cigarettes are helping smokers quit. Electronic cigarettes were the only aid producing a higher odds of becoming a former smoker than cold turkey.”

The paper states that vaping offers a twin-forked solution “as both a counter to the over-medicalization of smoking cessation, and as a necessary supplement for the persistent inadequacy of unassisted cessation.”

David Sweanor, ecig advocate and lawyer, commented: “I am sure there are people so committed to a quit-or-die approach that no amount or quality of research will make a difference. The real test is with consumers themselves. People can only make as good a decision as the information available to them allows, and as the information and available options get better, public health revolutions occur.”

And, if people are to elect to vape, then it is good news that there are people carrying out unbiased studies looking at the potential harm. Ohio’s team looked at the pulmonary surfactant, a mixture of lipids and proteins that line the alveolar region of the lungs. The job of this layer is to reduce the work the lungs do, and make breathing easier. It is this part of the lung that comes into contact with vape particles.

Conveying the good news, the team write: “Results of the study found that e-cigarette vapour, regardless of its flavouring, does not affect the ability of surfactant to reduce surface tension. In contrast, conventional cigarettes significantly inhibited the ability of surfactant to reduce surface tension upon compression.”

As ever with responsible investigations, the team note a word of caution: “While e-cigarettes are significantly less disruptive to surfactant compared to conventional cigarettes, the observed lack of changes in surfactant function after exposure to e-cigarette vapour should not be perceived as a lack of pulmonary toxicity.” They have called for further investigations.

 Dave Cross
Article by Dave Cross
Freelance writer, physicist, karateka, dog walker