Medical Research Supports E-Cigarettes
The body of scientific evidence supporting the efficacy of electronic cigarettes as a smoking cessation aid has only began to grow in recent years. This includes research undertaken at some highly reputable and prestigious institutions including the Harvard School of Public Health and Boston University School of Public Health. I found it particularly encouraging to learn that one of the most in depth analyses of the e-cig to date was carried out by one of our neighbours across the Tasman Sea.
A renowned medical practitioner with over 50 years experience, Dr Murray Laugesen is New Zealand’s leading expert in the area of smoking and tobacco policy. He has been a major contributor toward the development on smoking related policies in NZ since 1985, and now is a strong advocate for electronic cigarettes.
In 2008, Laugesen conducted a detailed product assessment of the Ruyan electronic cigarette. His research found the Ruyan digital cig produced only trace quantities of the 60 major toxicants found in conventional cigarettes, making the device 100 to 1000 times safer than smoking tobacco. This result was attributed to the fact that the operating temperature of e-cigarette’s atomiser was only between 5 and 10 percent that of a tobacco cigarette, and therefore the harmful chemicals produced by cigarette smoke were not present.
Another safety benefit Laugesen identified through his study of the Ruyan e-cig was the absence of second hand smoke. Since no smoke is produced when during the ignition or inhalation of an electronic cigarette, there is no risk of producing harmful emissions.
Laugesen’s research also found that e-cigs are less addictive than tobacco cigarettes because the nicotine dose per puff on a digital cig is comparatively lower. Another reason for this that Laugesen uncovered during the course of his study was that the nicotine inhaled while vaping is absorbed into the upper airways instead of the lungs, and is therefore delivered to the brain much more slowly than a regular cigarette.
Today, Laugesen continues to contribute to the policy debate with the aim to reduce smoking related illnesses and to eventually rid New Zealand of cigarettes. He heads up Health New Zealand Limited, an organisation he founded as a research and consultancy organisation focusing on the area of smoking policy.
Read more about Dr Laugesen and Health New Zealand here: