The original concept can be traced back to 1963, but Chinese pharmacist Hon Lik is widely credited with inventing the first e-cigarette in 2003. It was internationally patented in 2007, and studies regarding the safety and effectiveness of e-cigarettes are ongoing. Below, we have gathered all of the most complete, unbiased and accurate e-cig research available:
Positive E-Cig / Vaping Studies
Studies of Toxicity Levels:
- 2017 Cancer Research UK Cross-Sectional Study – First longer-term study to find that e-cigarette use substantially reduced levels of carcinogens and toxins relative to smoking combustible cigarettes.
- 2017 Tobacco Control Study – Found that the cancer risk from using devices under “normal conditions” was almost as low as the risk of using nicotine replacement products, and less than one percent the risk of smoking.
- 2017 Food and Chemical Toxicology Study – Another study that further verifies that high levels of formaldehyde found in previous studies was inaccurate and likely due to flawed testing procedures.
- 2016 Regulatory Toxicology and Pharmacology Study – E-cigarettes may not generate as much formaldehyde as previously believed, and the levels are lower than traditional cigarettes. Our overview →
- 2016 Nicotine & Tobacco Research Study – Found that “after switching from tobacco to e-cigarettes, nicotine exposure remains unchanged, while exposure to selected carcinogens and toxicants is substantially reduced.”
- 2015 Public Health England Study – The first official government healthcare agency study to publicly defended electronic cigarettes as less harmful than smoking tobacco cigarettes. Our overview →
- 2015 Toxicology in Vitro Study – E-cigarette aerosol showed no acute cytotoxicity when compared with traditional cigarette smoke and it had significantly less impact on organotypic tissue.
- 2015 IJERP Study – Overall exposure to metals is not expected to be of significant health concern for smokers who switch to vaping, but is an unnecessary source of exposure for non-smokers.
- 2015 Addiction Journal Study – E-cigs produce high levels of aldehyde only in dry puff conditions, causing a unpleasant taste that users detect and avoid. Under normal vaping conditions aldehyde emissions are minimal, even in new-generation high-power e-cigarettes.
- 2015 Regulatory Toxicology & Pharmacology Study – Found that tobacco smoke had 1,500 times more harmful constituents (HPHC) than e-cig vapor, which was equivalent to room air. The study was funded by Big Tobacco maker (and owner of Blu E-Cigs), Lorillard, but the results of the rigorous testing can’t be denied. Numerous studies have backed the findings.
- 2014 Environmental Science Study – With the exception Ni, Zn and Ag, e-cigarettes show a remarkable decrease in metals and organic compounds.
- 2014 IJERP Study – Findings indicate that neither the electronic cigarette liquids and collected aerosols, nor the extracts of the SLT and NRT products produce any meaningful toxic effects on users.
- 2013 Tobacco Control Study – Substituting tobacco cigarettes with e-cigs may substantially reduce exposure to selected tobacco-specific toxicants.
- 2013 Drexel University Study – Found that the chemicals found in electronic cigarette liquids pose no health concerns.
- 2013 ClearStream-LIFE Study – Study indicated that e-cigarette vapor is significantly less cytotoxic than traditional cigarette smoke.
- 2012 Indoor Air Study – Compared electronic cigarette vapor to tobacco smoke and found significantly less volatile organic compounds (VOCs).
- 2010 Journal of Public Health Study – Lab studies showed that carcinogen levels in e-cigarettes are much lower than traditional cigarettes.
Studies of Second-Hand Vapor:
- 2014 Drexel University Study – Found “no apparent concern” for bystanders exposed to e-cigarette vapor – even under “worst case” assumptions.
- 2013 Oxford University Press Study – Using an electronic cigarette in indoor environments may expose nonusers to trace amounts of nicotine but not to dangerous, toxic combustion products.
- 2012 CleanStream-Air Study – Evaluated the effect of second-hand vapor and found no detectable amounts of toxic substances or carcinogens.
- 2012 Inhalation Toxicology Study – Determined there was no apparent risk to human health from electronic cigarette vapor emissions.
Effectiveness for Smoking Cessation:
- 2017 BMJ Study – Found that the growing use of e-cigarettes has resulted in “statistically significant increase in the smoking cessation rate.”
- 2015 Oxford University Study – Daily use of electronic cigarettes for at least one month is strongly associated with quitting smoking at follow-up.
- 2014 IJERPH Study – Electronic cigarettes were shown to be highly effective in reducing craving for traditional cigarettes and resulted in “remarkable reductions” in or complete abstinence from tobacco.
- 2014 Addiction Journal Study – Among smokers attempting to quit, those who used e-cigarettes were more likely to report abstinence than those using nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) or no aid at all.
- 2013 Addictive Behaviors Study – E-cigarettes may contribute to relapse prevention in former smokers and smoking cessation in current smokers.
- 2013 Lancent Medical Journal Study – Determined that e-cigs were modestly effective at helping smokers to quit, equivalent to nicotine patches.
- 2013 PLoS ONE Study – E-cigarettes decreased cigarette consumption and elicited enduring tobacco abstinence without causing significant side effects.
- 2012 Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco – Electronic cigarettes deliver similar levels of nicotine and reduce users’ exposure to toxic combustion products after switching from tobacco.
- 2011 Boston University Study – E-cig use significantly reduced tobacco cravings, a similar effect to what has been observed with nicotine inhalers.
- 2011 BioMed Central Public Health Study – Concluded that smokers can substantially decrease their cigarette consumption (without significant side effects) with the help of electronic cigarettes.
- 2010 Tobacco Control Study – E-cigs alleviated users desire to smoke and had a ‘pharmacokinetic profile’ similar to a Nicorette inhalator.
Other E-Cigarette Health Studies:
- 2014 Penn State Study – Electronic cigarette users were found to be less dependent on e-cigarettes than they were on traditional cigarettes and reported less withdrawal symptoms and cravings.
- 2014 BMC Cardiovascular Disorders Study – Found that e-cig use has no immediate effects on the cardiovascular system or acute heart function.
- 2014 IJERP Health Survey – Survey of over 19,000 electronic cigarette users found that nearly 75% reported better general health after switching to e-cigs, along with a wide range of other perceived health benefits, such as improved endurance, breathing, taste, smell, etc.
- 2013 Inhalation Toxicology Study – While lung function was impaired by traditional cigarettes, e-cigs appeared to have no impact.
- 2012 Onassis Cardiac Surgery Center Study – Based on current available data, e-cigs appear to have no acute adverse effects on cardiac function.
- 2009 University of Alberta Study – 95% of respondents in an online survey reported that general health, ability to exercise, sense of smell and taste were better since switching to electronic cigarettes.
Negative E-Cig Studies / Reports
- 2018 Environmental Health Perspectives Study – Found that electronic cigarettes are a “potential source of exposure to toxic metals” – likely from coil material. Researcher Dr. Konstantinos Farsalinos responded by stating that the metals were well below environmental safety limits.
- 2015 PLoS ONE Study – Electronic cigarettes aerosols can modulate levels of oxidative stress and inflammation markers in the lungs and lung cells of mice. Compared to smoking, though, another study shows that the oxidative stress is 4.5–5 times lower than smoking tobacco.
- 2014 PLoS ONE Study – Suggests that e-liquid promotes pro-inflammatory response and HRV infection of the lungs. In other words, you’re more likely to get a cold. It’s important to note that they didn’t compare tobacco, and e-liquid was applied directly to lung cells – not inhaled.
- 2014 Journal of Environmental Science Study – Despite a decrease in the majority of toxic chemicals, e-cigarette vapor was found to contain chromium, absent from traditional cigarettes, as well as nickel at levels four times higher than normal cigarettes. This was highlighted by the media, even though the study ultimately concluded that e-cigarettes are significantly less harmful than tobacco cigarettes and are likely to pose no risk to bystanders.
- 2014 Roswell Park Cancer Institute Study – Solvent and battery voltage may affect the levels of harmful compounds in e-cigarette vapor. Concluded that high-voltage devices may expose users to more risk.
- 2014 JAMA Network Study – Found that e-cigarette users did not quit smoking more frequently than nonusers, but the study included all types of users, even those with no intention to quit vaping.
- 2013 University of Athens Study – Claims that e-cigs could ‘damage your lungs’ since less oxygen may be absorbed by the blood. Limited research!
- 2012 Society of Research on Nicotine and Tobocco – E-cigarettes contain nicotine, but brands and models differ in their efficacy and consistency.
- 2012 Chest Journal Study – Short term electronic cigarette use was found to cause an increase in impedance, airway flow resistance, and oxidative stress, but it also stated that long-term benefits may outweigh risks.
- 2009 Tobacco Control Study – Considered electronic cigarettes ineffective for nicotine delivery and craving suppression since the samples (from just two companies) had less nicotine than tobacco.
- 2009 FDA Study of E-Cig Cartridges – Although this study was ultimately proven inconclusive, it’s widely mentioned in many news stories. It evaluated samples from just two companies and found low levels of tobacco-specific carcinogens. It failed to disclose the actual carcinogen levels, which were later proved to be insignificant, far below that of tobacco cigarettes.
Other E-Cigarette Research
- 2017 Drug & Alcohol Dependence Study – Concluded that “youth use of e-cigarettes is unlikely to increase the ranks of future cigarette smokers.”
- 2017 CDC Report on Teen E-Cig Use – E-cigarette use rose dramatically (from 2011 to 2015) as smoking rates fell. In 2016, both smoking and vaping rates fell, indicating that students are more likely to experiment with vaping, but it DOES NOT lead them to traditional cigarettes. Our overview →
- 2016 Regulatory Toxicology and Pharmacology Study – Five variable power devices were evaluated for aerosol yield and formation of aldehydes. It found a 750-fold difference in aldehyde yield between the devices and suggested that temperature (not the voltage or individual coil resistances) had the biggest impact on the results. Not surprisingly, “dry puff” conditions created the highest, most worrisome levels of aldehydes.
- 2014 AJPM Gateway Study – Electronic cigarettes are increasingly popular with youth; however, they do not appear to lead to traditional tobacco use.
- 2013 CDC Report on Teen E-Cig Use – Showed a doubling of teen electronic cigarette use from 2011 to 2012. It’s important to note that 75% of the teens included in the study currently smoked tobacco.
- 2013 CDC Report on Adult E-Cigarette Use – Among adult smokers, report showed a doubling of adults who had tried e-cigarettes from 2010 to 2011.