The Australian Tobacco Harm Reduction Association has published a report on its website, saying that the largest study on the safety of steam smoke to date has confirmed that the use of steam smoke inhales far fewer toxic chemicals than smokers.
Dr. Colin Mendelsohn, Associate Professor of the University of New South Wales and the School of Public Health and Community Medicine in Sydney, Australia, introduced a research report on 5,105 adults recently published on JAMA Network Open. The study was led by a leading researcher led by Maciej Goniewicz.
The study measured the levels of tobacco toxins in the urine of four different groups of people: steam smokers; smokers; dual users (both cigarette smokers and steam smokers); and non-smokers.
Mendelsohn said the researchers tested the 50 most important toxins commonly found in tobacco smoke, including TSNA (tobacco-specific nitrosamines), PAH (polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons), metals and VOCs (volatile organic compounds). These toxins cause most diseases related to smoking.
Mendelsohn said the study’s main finding was that steam smoke users had 10-98% lower toxin levels than smokers who measured toxins. He said that with the exception of most metals and three volatile organic compounds (toluene, benzene, and carbon disulfide), all other levels in steam smokers are relatively low. He believes that steam smoke users are more exposed to passive smoking, so some toxins may come from second-hand smoke. In addition, some chemicals such as metals stay in the body for many years, which may be derived from past smoking or other sources.