A study published in Annals of Plastic Surgery has suggested that electronic cigarettes are as toxic as tobacco cigarettes.
Researchers used a rat skin flap model to examine the microcirculatory effects of e-cigarettes, in comparison with tobacco cigarettes. 58 rats were, at random, exposed to either room air, tobacco cigarette smoke, medium-nicotine content (1.2%) e-cigarette vapour or a high-nicotine content (2.4%) e-cigarette vapour.
After five weeks of exposure, flap survival was evaluated quantitively with plasma being collected for nicotine and cotinine analysis, and flap tissues were harvested for histopathological analysis.
Results demonstrated significantly increased necrosis in the vapor and tobacco groups, with the average necrosis within the groups being 28.61% for high-dose vapour, 35.93% for medium-dose vapour and 30.15% for tobacco cigarette.
The study concluded that both the high-nicotine and medium-nicotine content in the e-cigarette exposure groups has similar amounts of flap necrosis and hypoxia when compared with the tobacco cigarette group.