SOURCE: EcigaretteReviewed

EcigaretteReviewed

November 01, 2013 11:40 ET

FDA, Take Note: Study Shows E-Cigs Pose No Risk to Heart Cells

The FDA's Pending Decision Needs to Account for the Huge Harm Reduction Potential of E-Cigs

TUSTIN, CA--(Marketwired - Nov 1, 2013) - A new study from Dr. Konstantinos Farsalinos underlines the need for regulations which acknowledge the drastically reduced risk of e-cigarettes, by showing that the vapor poses no risk to heart cells. The FDA's proposed deeming regulations on e-cigarettes are on the cusp of announcement after a series of delays, leaving the technology's future hanging in the balance. Alongside the existing body of evidence attesting to the phenomenal harm reduction potential of e-cigarettes, the new study provides yet more reason that stringent regulation from the FDA would be disproportionate and unnecessary.

The researchers looked at the effect of the vapor of various commercially available "e-liquids" on cultured heart cells. Using a realistic "vaping" pattern, the researchers compared the cytotoxicity (cell toxicity) of the vapor produced from each e-liquid and the smoke from a tobacco cigarette at various concentrations. In addition, the researchers investigated the impact of high voltage devices and evaluated whether nicotine concentration has an impact on cell survival.

Cigarette smoke has well-known cytotoxic effects, and the research confirmed that by showing reduced cell survival even when the cigarette extract was diluted 8 times. For e-cigarettes, only four out of the 20 e-liquids reached the threshold for cytotoxicity, and three of these were flavored using actual tobacco leaves. Even for these liquids, cytotoxicity was evident only at half dilution. Of note, the worst performing liquid was 3 times LESS cytotoxic compared to cigarette smoke, while most other liquids were completely harmless to the cells. 

In addition, the tests performed at higher voltages showed no significant change in cytotoxicity of e-cig vapor. Nicotine concentration in e-liquid had no adverse effect on survival, with the authors concluding that nicotine at levels relevant to e-cigarette use are not cytotoxic on cells.

With the FDA's proposed regulations due to be announced imminently, this study places the decision they have to make in much-needed context. Smokers, alongside other risks such as lung cancer and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), are killing heart cells with their habit. None of these risks exist for e-cigarettes, so placing similar regulatory constraints on them would be an exercise in absurdity.

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