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The First Bhas 42 Assay Study On Vaping

We've seen plenty of promising results from British scientific studies that aim to take an objective look at vaping over the years, including the bombshell from Public Health England (the nation's universal health care service) that found vaping was "95% safer" than smoking. But this latest headline from the UK's Daily Mail is particularly bold:


E-cigarettes do NOT cause cancer.


Other recent studies have examined the changes to cellular DNA caused by the inhalation of both smoke and vapor, finding consistently that the change rate is considerably lower among vapers than smokers or dual-users (those who vape to supplement their smoking or who are still in the process of quitting completely). Still, cellular change is what leads to mutations that cause cancer to form, meaning any detectable change could still be cause for concern.



But a new test, known in the scientific realm as the Bhas 42 assay and used to compare tobacco and non-tobacco nicotine-containing products, found that e-cigarettes, regardless of whether or not their liquids contained nicotine, found that vapes "caused no cancer-related toxicity at any nicotine dose."


"This is the first time this particular test, the Bhas 42 assay, has been used to compare tobacco and nicotine products," says Dr. Damien Breheny, a lead author of the study. "It is one of a series of tests being developed and refined by British American Tobacco to compare the relative biological effects of e-cigarettes and tobacco-heating products with conventional cigarettes."



But, there's the rub. This study was, like many others on vaping, conducted using money pulled from the coffers of Big Tobacco. Such a funding source will cause many to dismiss the study out of hand, and we'll admit that these revelations always give us cause for pause. Still, the fact that the tobacco companies themselves are, with some frequency these days, releasing data that seems nothing short of damning to their current product line, shows promise. A smoke-free future might be just around the corner, and they're as anxious as anyone to get on board with what's coming next. Despite dabbling in "heat, not burn" tech and other oddities, we think vaping still has the most promise as a bridge between a world where tobacco use was once both common and accepted and one where it exists only as a historical footnote.


If you're interested, the full text of the study, science-speak and all, can be found by clicking this link. We'd love to tell you it's a captivating page-turner, but in truth it's a bit of a rough, yet valuable, slog for anyone who really cares about the science of what they're choosing to ingest.