Reductions in biomarkers of exposure (BoE) to harmful or potentially harmful constituents (HPHCs) following partial or complete substitution of cigarettes with electronic cigarettes in adult smokers
Changes in fifteen urine, blood and exhaled breath BoEs of HPHCs representing classes of compounds reported by FDA to be significant contributors to smoking-associated disease risks were measured in 105 clinical-confined subjects following randomization and a five- day forced-switch from usual brand conventional combustible cigarettes to: (i) exclusive commercial e-cigarette use; (ii) dual-use of commercial e-cigarettes and the subject’s usual cigarette brand; or (iii) discontinued use of all tobacco or nicotine products.
Levels of urinary biomarkers in subjects that completely substituted their usual cigarette with e-cigarettes were significantly lower (29–95%) after 5 days. Percent reductions in eight of nine urinary BoEs were indistinguishable to smokers who had quit smoking, except for nicotine equivalents, which declined by 25–40%. Dual users who halved self-reported daily cigarette consumption with e-cigarettes exhibited reductions (7–38%) in eight of nine urinary biomarkers, but had increase (1–20%) in nicotine equivalents. Reductions were broadly proportional to the reduced numbers of cigarettes smoked. Dual user urinary nicotine equivalents were slightly higher, but not statistically significant. After 5 days, blood nicotine biomarker levels were lower in the cessation (75–96%) and exclusive use groups (11–83%); with dual users experiencing no significant reductions. All subjects experienced significant decreases in exhaled CO. Decreases in the cessation and exclusive groups ranged from 88–89% and 27–32% in dual users. Exhaled NO increased in the cessation and exclusive groups (46–63% respectively), whereas the dual users experienced minimal changes.
Overall, smokers who completely or partially substituted conventional cigarettes with e-cigarettes over five days, experienced reductions in expsoure to the selected HPHCs.