LONDON, Feb. 7 (Xinhua) -- Researchers have found new evidence that e-cigarettes are less toxic and safer to use compared to conventional cigarettes, according to a study released Tuesday by the University College London (UCL).
In the study, saliva and urine of long-term e-cigarette and NRT (nicotine replacement therapy) users as well as smokers were analyzed, and their body-level exposure to key chemicals were compared.
The results showed that people who switched from smoking conventional cigarettes to e-cigarettes or NRT for at least six months, had much lower levels of toxic and cancer causing substances in their body than people who continued to use conventional cigarettes.
However, the team also noted that those who used e-cigarettes or NRT while continuing to smoke, did not show the same marked differences, meaning that a complete switch is needed when it comes to toxins exposure reduction.
"We've shown that the levels of toxic chemicals in the body from e-cigarettes are considerably lower than suggested in previous studies using simulated experiments.
"This means some doubts about the safety of e-cigarettes may be wrong," said lead author Dr. Lion Shahab.
"Our results also suggest that while e-cigarettes are not only safer, the amount of nicotine they provide is not noticeably different to conventional cigarettes," Shahab said.
This can help people stop smoking altogether by dealing with their cravings in a safer way, said Shahab.
The study has been published in the journal Annals of Internal Medicine.