The aerosol composition of electronic cigarettes (ECs) suggests that exposure to toxicants during use is greatly reduced compared to exposure from combustible cigarettes (CCs).
This randomized, parallel-group, clinical study enrolled smokers to switch to Vuse Solo (VS) Digital Vapor Cigarettes (Original or Menthol) or Nicorette 4 mg nicotine gum (NG) in a controlled setting. Subjects who smoked CCs ad libitum for 2 days during a baseline period were then randomized to ad libitum use of either VS or NG for 5 days. Biomarkers of 23 toxicants were measured in 24-hour urine samples and blood collected at baseline and following product switch.
A total of 153 subjects completed the study. Total nicotine equivalents decreased in all groups, but higher levels were observed in the VS groups compared to the NG groups, with decreases of 38% and 60%–67%, respectively. All other biomarkers were significantly decreased in subjects switched to VS, and the magnitude of biomarker decreases was similar to subjects switched to NG. Decreases ranged from 30% to greater than 85% for constituents such as benzene and acrylonitrile.
These results indicate that exposure to toxicants when using VS is significantly reduced compared to CC smoking, and these reductions are similar to those observed with use of NG. Although statistically significantly decreased, nicotine exposure is maintained closer to CC smoking with VS use compared to NG use. This research suggests that use of VS exposes consumers to fewer and lower levels of smoke toxicants than CCs while still providing nicotine to the consumer.
This is the first study to report changes in nicotine delivery and biomarkers of tobacco exposure following a short-term product switch from CCs to either an EC or NG in a controlled environment. The study shows that nicotine exposure decreased in both groups but was maintained closer to CC smoking with the EC groups. Biomarkers of tobacco combustion decreased to similar levels in both EC and gum groups.