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Does smelling electronic cigarettes count as second-hand smoke?

The research on nitrosamines is undoubtedly the most critical part of many studies. According to the World Health Organization list of carcinogens, nitrosamines are the most carcinogenic primary carcinogen. Cigarette smoke contains a large amount of tobacco-specific nitrosamines (TSNA), such as NNK, NNN, NAB, NAT… Among them, NNK and NNN have been identified by the WHO as strong lung cancer-causing factors, which are the main carcinogens of cigarettes and the hazards of second-hand smoke. The “culprit”.

Does e-cigarette smoke contain tobacco-specific nitrosamines? In response to this problem, in 2014, Dr. Goniewicz selected 12 high-selling e-cigarette products on the market at the time for smoke detection. Experimental results show that the smoke of electronic cigarette products (should be mainly the third-generation open smoke electronic cigarette) did contain nitrosamines.

It is worth noting that the content of nitrosamines in e-cigarette smoke is much lower than that of cigarette smoke. Data shows that the NNN content in e-cigarette smoke is only 1/380 of the NNN content of cigarette smoke, and the NNK content is only 1/40 of the NNK content of cigarette smoke. “This study tells us that if smokers switch to e-cigarettes, they can reduce the intake of cigarette-related harmful substances.” Dr. Goniewicz wrote in the paper.

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In July 2020, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a document stating that the level of nitrosamine metabolite NNAL in the urine of e-cigarette users is extremely low, which is similar to the level of NNAL in the urine of non-smokers. This not only proves the significant harm reduction effect of e-cigarettes on the basis of Dr. Goniewicz’s research, but also shows that the current mainstream e-cigarette products do not have the problem of second-hand smoke from cigarettes.

The study lasted for 7 years and began to collect epidemiological data on tobacco use behavior in 2013, including usage patterns, attitudes, habits, and health effects. NNAL is a metabolite produced by the human body processing nitrosamines. People inhale nitrosamines through the use of tobacco products or secondhand smoke, and then excrete the metabolite NNAL through urine.

The results of the study show that the average concentration of NNAL in the urine of smokers is 285.4 ng/g creatinine, and the average concentration of NNAL in the urine of e-cigarette users is 6.3 ng/g creatinine, that is, the content of NNAL in the urine of e-cigarette users is only that of smokers 2.2% of the total.

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Post time: Nov-09-2021