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E-cigarettes Pose Far Lower Risk to Gut Health than Traditional Cigarettes

In the last year, a study published in the prestigious medical journal “Nutrients” highlighted that e-cigarettes pose significantly less harm to gut health compared to traditional cigarettes. Traditional cigarettes have been known to disrupt the gut microbiome of smokers, leading to conditions such as obesity, colitis, and colon cancer. However, the study found that e-cigarettes do not alter the gut microbiota.


An imbalance in the gut microbiome is considered a warning sign for compromised gut health, leading to metabolic disturbances and a range of gastrointestinal and pulmonary diseases. “Traditional cigarettes have been associated with gut microbiome imbalance and a spectrum of chronic gut diseases, so we initially assumed that e-cigarettes would have a similar impact. However, during our research, we surprisingly observed no changes in the gut microbiota caused by e-cigarettes,” wrote the authors in their research paper.


This study, led by multiple Australian universities including the University of Sydney and the University of Technology Sydney, primarily investigated the effects of e-cigarettes on the gut microbiota of mice. Through a 16-week-long experiment and observation of mice, the researchers confirmed that e-cigarettes do not alter the gut microbiome.


“Our research suggests that the harm to the gut microbiota caused by e-cigarettes is less than that caused by traditional cigarettes. This finding may encourage more smokers to proactively switch to e-cigarettes, reducing harm and aiding in smoking cessation,” said Dr. Christopher J. Stewart, the first author of the research paper. However, in Australia, nicotine-containing e-cigarettes are regulated as medicinal products, which can discourage smokers from switching to e-cigarettes voluntarily.


Colin Mendelsohn, Chairman of the Australian Tobacco Harm Reduction Association, previously stated, “The emergence of new technologies always triggers fear and skepticism. Things like coffee and refrigeration, widely accepted today, faced strong opposition when they were first introduced. We shouldn’t be afraid of new technologies.”

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