E-cigarettes: cancer risk drops by over 99 percent compared to tobacco smoke

E-cigarettes: cancer risk drops by over 99 percent compared to tobacco smoke

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More and more institutions are in favor of the e-cigarette

Smokers can reduce their risk of cancer associated with tobacco smoke by up to 99.5 percent if they switch to the significantly less harmful vapor of the e-cigarette. This is reported by the Alliance for Tobacco-Free Enjoyment (BfTG) and bases this statement on the latest findings from Germany, America and England.

On the occasion of the international World Cancer Day, the BfTG wants to motivate more smokers to switch to e-cigarettes to protect their own health. Three large current studies have shown that e-cigarette vapor is significantly less harmful than tobacco smoke. According to the BfTG, 40 percent of smokers still believe that e-cigarettes are as harmful as tobacco smoke.

Heating instead of burning

A major difference between e-cigarettes and tobacco cigarettes lies in the way they are heated. The tobacco is burned, creating a much more violent chemical reaction chain. "This process produces around 7,000 chemicals, including at least 70 cancer-causing chemicals," reports the American Cancer Society. In contrast, no combustion processes would take place with e-cigarettes. The vapor of the e-cigarette is generated by a more gentle heating process.

E-steam contains hardly any carcinogenic substances

The German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) also considers the e-cigarette to be less harmful. "E-cigarettes heat a liquid that mostly contains nicotine, and the resulting aerosol contains hardly any carcinogenic substances when used properly," summarizes Dr. Ute Mons, head of the Cancer Prevention Unit. She emphasized that e-cigarette users and tobacco users "cannot be lumped together".

Not all questions have been answered yet

Even if there are still open questions regarding long-term use, Dr. Mons is clear about the switch: "Experts believe that e-cigarettes are probably significantly less harmful than conventional cigarettes - and probably less harmful than tobacco heaters," says the DKFZ expert.

99.5 percent lower risk of cancer

The English health authorities go one step further. In a recent study, Public Health England confirmed that the calculated risk of developing cancer could be reduced by 99.5 percent in the long term by switching to e-cigarettes.

Common misconception: nicotine is the main cause of lung cancer

The British Royal College of Physicians published a report in 2016 that examined the potential damage minimization of e-cigarettes compared to tobacco. "However, the extent of the risk caused by the use of e-cigarettes is probably very small in absolute terms and therefore much lower than the risk of smoking tobacco," the researchers judged. Lung cancer mainly arises from the fact that the lungs constantly come into contact with carcinogens that are contained in tobacco smoke. Nicotine plays a subordinate role here. This also applies to the development of a smoker's lung (COPD) and to heart diseases in smokers.

Education is needed

"The vast majority of international research is unanimous in evaluating the damage minimized by e-cigarettes," said Dustin Dahlmann, Chairman of the Alliance for Tobacco-Free Enjoyment, in a press release. He advocates a broad awareness campaign by the German health authorities. (vb)

Additional information: Every cigarette poisons our body - e-cigarettes can help weaning

Author and source information

Video: Formaldehyde in Electronic Cigarettes vs Combustible Tobacco (December 2022).