Switching To E-Cigarettes Reduces Carcinogen Exposure By 64% In Only Two Weeks Switching To E-Cigarettes Reduces Carcinogen Exposure By 64% In Only Two Weeks

An Oxford study measuring the effects of vaping on the body found that smokers who converted to vaping saw reduction in their exposure to carcinogens by as much as 57% over a week, and 64% after two.

The study, titled Exposure to Nicotine and Selected Toxicants in Cigarette Smokers Who Switched to Electronic Cigarettes, was published by Oxford Academic in the Nicotine & Tobacco Research Journal. The research was conducted in an attempt to understand better the physiological impacts and effects on smokers who transitioned to vaping.

The researchers noted their study might be the first of its kind to demonstrate smokers who convert to vaping can see a notable reduction in exposure to the carcinogens commonly found in cigarettes. Although the researchers do acknowledge that with such a small sample size further research will need to be conducted.

Research Methodology

Researchers tested urine samples from twenty smokers before and after they switched to an M201 pen-style vaporizer over a two week period. The research was conducted to examine the claim that vaporizing delivers nicotine without the toxic combustion byproducts found in cigarette smoke. To do it, they evaluated the effects of vaporizing on exposure to select toxicants and carcinogens.

They measured for seven nicotine metabolites and an additional seventeen biomarkers of smoke exposure. These biomarkers were metabolites of thirteen major carcinogens and toxicants found in cigarette smoke including one tobacco-specific nitrosamine, eight volatile organic compounds, and four polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. They tested for changes in the concentration of biomarkers found in the urine of participants using repeated measures analysis of variance.

Encouraging Results

By the completion of the study, 45% of the participants involved reported complete abstinence from cigarette smoking, while the remainder either still smoked to some degree or hadn’t concluded the study. Nearly every negative biomarker decreased significantly in as little as a single week after switching over to vaping from cigarettes. Only levels of nicotine and some polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon metabolites remained constant during the study.

Researchers concluded that participants who made the switch to vaping from smoking saw a substantial reduction in the levels of toxicants and carcinogens in the body. They believe more data on reduced exposure to harmful byproducts is needed. This would greatly aid in evaluating e-liquid vaporizers as a potential harm reduction and smoking cessation tool.

However, it still important to note this study had a limited sample size and was hampered by nearly half the participants either relapsing or excluded for not following procedure. They stressed further research with a larger sample size would need to be conducted, although they do see their study as a positive first step. Research that actually measures the reduction of carcinogens absorbed by the body by transitioning to vaping is still desperately needed.


The first-of-its-kind study led by Dr. Maciej Goniewicz of the Roswell Park Cancer Institute in Buffalo, New York was conducted domestically here in the United States. It is vital more research such as this study are conducted to help successfully demonstrate the impact of vaping on the health of smokers. Alongside pivotal research such as the renowned 2015 study conducted by Public Health England finding vaping to be at least 95% less harmful than smoking, studies like this can help sway negative opinions of vaping amongst the public and legislators.

We live in an era of mainstream media outlets mindlessly parroting faulty research in an attempt to portray vaporizers as potentially harmful, while the FDA promotes big pharmaceutical products such as patches and gum and simultaneously demonizes vaporizers. While there is plenty of excellent research coming from Europe, there is a notable lack of domestic studies in favor of vaping. Thanks to local research like this and organizations such as the American Cancer Society recognizing the reduced harm posed by vaping, U.S. Public Health Officials and the public at large may be swayed from their negative perceptions to acknowledge the positive impacts of vaping.

What do you believe the impacts of this study will be going forward? Do you think legislators are going to ease up on regulation? Have you noticed an improvement in your health after making the switch to vaping? Let us know below in the comments and feel free to connect with the Cocktail Nerd on Facebook and Twitter.


Katie Bercham - CocktailNerd Editor

Katie actually had a negative first experience of electronic cigarettes, picking up a cheap and horrible model from my local mall. Thanks to a chance meeting with co-editor David, she hasn’t had a tobacco cigarette in over 5 years. She brings a strong female voice to the e-cig community.