A new research shows that e-cigarettes are less harmful than conventional cigarettes.
For the study, researchers examined 81 studies that concentrated on the safety concerns of e-cigarettes, chemicals present in the liquids and vapors used for these cigarettes, and popularity among smokers and non-smokers.
After their analysis, researchers said the e-cigarettes were safer than the conventional cigarettes. The researchers believe that e-cigarettes will bring down smoking related deaths and should not be regulated in the same way that conventional tobacco products are.
"Current evidence suggests that there is a potential for smokers to reduce their health risks if electronic cigarettes are used in place of tobacco cigarettes and are considered a step toward ending all tobacco and nicotine use," said study researcher Thomas Eissenberg, co-director of the Center for the Study of Tobacco Products at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, reported HealthDay.
"If there are any risks, these will be many times lower than the risks of smoking tobacco," said senior author Dr. Hayden McRobbie, from the Wolfson Institute of Preventive Medicine at Queen Mary University of London. "We need to think carefully about how these products are regulated. What we found is that there is no evidence that these products should be regulated as strictly as tobacco, or even more strictly than tobacco."
BBC reports that co-author of the study professor Peter Hajek of Queen Mary University in London, said that this is not the final list of risks and others might arise. However, officials need to be careful about the stumbling market of e-cigarette. This would help the smokers access to these safer products and. "If harsh regulations are put in place now, we will damage public health on a big scale."
There is still no agreement over the harmful effects of e-cigarettes. They do contain nicotine but there is no toxic smoke or chemical inhalation. The researchers also said that no study shows that the vapor from e-cigarettes is harmful to the user. Moreover, these cigarettes do not trigger the habit of smoking. However, the researchers warned that the long-term effects of e-cigarettes on health are still unclear.
"So far there hasn't been very much chronic use of e-cigarettes. So it's not possible to say there will be no harm," Dr Norman Edelman, a senior medical consultant for the American Lung Association stated. "Since we are talking about a recreational drug -- it's not essential to life, it doesn't cure any illness -- it would only make sense to regulate it rigorously until we find out whether it's good or bad."
The study was partly funded by the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) and published in the journal, Addiction.