A study at Virginia Commonwealth University found that electronic cigarettes, through which customers can inhale nicotine vapor instead of smoke do not deliver as promised, CNN reported.
“They are as effective at nicotine delivery as puffing on an unlit cigarette,” said Dr. Thomas Eissenberg, at the school’s Institute for Drug and Alcohol Studies.
His study, funded by the federal National Cancer Institute, is the first by American doctors to check the function of “no-smoke tobacco” devices, which are unregulated in the U.S. for sale or use. The units are shaped like a cigarette and contain a battery that heats a filament to vaporize liquid nicotine in a refillable cartridge.
The latest clinical evidence suggests users are not getting the addictive substance they get when they smoke tobacco.
“These e-cigs do not deliver nicotine,” Eissenberg said of the findings he expects to publish in an upcoming issue of the British Medical Journal.
This past summer, Eissenberg recruited smokers without prior experience using e-cigarettes to volunteer to use two popular brands of the devices for a set period. The 16 subjects were regularly measured in a clinical setting for the presence of nicotine in their bodies, their reported craving for conventional cigarettes, and certain physiological effects such as a change in heart rate, CNN reported.
“Ten puffs from either of these electronic cigarettes with a 16 mg nicotine cartridge delivered little to no nicotine,” the study asserted.