A new study by the Medical Research Council Integrative Epidemiology Unit from the University of Bristol has found that, where heart cells showed a stress response to cigarette smoke, heart cells were unmoved by e-cig vapour.
The study on human coronary artery endothelial cells was published in the Drug and Alcohol Dependence Journal, and strengthens the case for e-cigs being widely adopted as a viable and healthy substitute for regular tobacco.
Researchers extracted smoke from a cigarette and vapour from an e-cig and passed each through a culture of heart cells. The team then analysed gene expression patterns of the cells to see if they demonstrated a stress response. They did, to cigarette smoke.
Professor Marcus Munafò, a member of the study team, admitted that e-cigs are unlikely to be as harmful as traditional tobacco, but says more biological research into e-cigarettes is critical.
“We found the cells showed a stress response from the cigarette smoke extract, but not from the electronic cigarette aerosol extract. This result suggests tobacco smokers may be able to reduce immediate tobacco-related harm by switching from conventional cigarettes to e-cigarettes.”