Cancer Research UK has funded a new study that has found that vapers who use low nicotine e-cigarettes tend to use their devices far more intensely than those users who vape using high nicotine e-cigarettes. This means the group using low nicotine e-cigarettes is potentially at greater risk of increased exposures to toxins in the vapour. The basic finding of the research is that smokers who decide to switch to vaping would probably be better of starting with higher rather than lower nicotine levels.
The researchers studied 20 e-cigarette users and found users of low nicotine e-liquid tended to take deeper inhalations and tended to do so more often in comparison to users of high nicotine liquid. They also tended to increase the power of their vaping devices. Despite trying to compensate for the low nicotine, vapers were unable to feel the effects of nicotine in the same way as the high nicotine group did, but in their attempt to do so increased their exposure to toxins such as formaldehyde.
Vaping much less harmful than smoking
Whilst toxins are present in vapour, they tend to be fewer and at lower levels when compared to tobacco smoke. The evidence suggests that both high and low nicotine e-cigarettes are much less harmful in comparison to tobacco. Users of low nicotine vapour also found they had a stronger urge to vape and felt withdrawal more acutely and were less satisfied after vaping.
Low nicotine costs more financially and health wise
Dr Lynne Dawkins of London South Bank University who headed up the study says that some people making the switch from tobacco to vaping may believe that beginning with low nicotine is good, however they should be aware that doing so is likely to result in the use of more e-liquid. Not only does that end up costing more financially but will also possibly have negative health consequences as well. Dr Dawkins does acknowledge however that to conclusively determine whether higher nicotine e-liquids are preferable, research on a larger scale is necessary.
Try different strategies to give up smoking
A Cancer Research UK spokesperson echoed the comments made by Dr Dawkins and says that whilst there are harmful chemicals in e-cigarette vapour, tobacco smoke is much worse. The best thing a smoker can do is simply stop smoking and if they need to, transition to e-cigarettes instead, that is one way to achieve that goal. A low nicotine approach is perhaps not the most appropriate strategy for everyone trying to give up nor is it necessarily the safest.