Study indicates that e-cigarettes emit 22 times the amount of tiny poisons that are considered safe.


Authors of the report said their findings suggested that e-cigarette vapor, which appears harmless compared to cigarette smoke, may pose health risks to more than just the vape user.

Doctors are warning of the dangers of second-hand vaping – as evidence mounts about the health risks posed by the devices.

Researchers found that a person vaporizing with a disposable or pod device, such as a Juul, expels 22 times the safe level of microscopic toxins known as particulate matter, which is small enough to cause breathing problems when inhaled and enter the bloodstream to come.

The findings poke holes in the belief of many e-cigarette users that the devices are safe to use in public, indoors or around others because they do not produce the traditional pungent smoke produced by traditional cigarettes, which contain thousands of chemicals. , dozens of which are carcinogenic.

In fact, vape devices often have a relatively non-offensive odor and in some cases even produce a pleasant or fruity-smelling vapor.

Authors of the report said their findings suggested that e-cigarette vapor, which appears harmless compared to cigarette smoke, may pose health risks to more than just the vape user.

Disposable e-cigarettes such as the mega-popular PuffBars produced the most potentially toxic particulate matter in the immediate vicinity of the user

Disposable e-cigarettes such as the mega-popular PuffBars produced the most potentially toxic particulate matter in the immediate vicinity of the user

However, scientists at universities in Virginia and North Carolina reported that when e-cigarette users puffed in their cars for less than 10 minutes, the air around them became loaded with potentially toxic particles known specifically as PM2.5 (which is a diameter of 2.5 microns or smaller).

PM2.5 can be generated from natural and man-made sources, such as the burning of fossil fuels. When inhaled, the substance enters the lungs and irritates the entire respiratory system, potentially causing or aggravating asthma, bronchitis and severe wheezing.

The matter is small enough to enter the bloodstream, which can lead to system-wide inflammation that increases risk to cardiovascular health.

The findings come just a day after the influential American Heart Association presented evidence that vape devices, once considered a salvation for cigarette smokers eager to quit, contain a cocktail of nicotine, solvents and flavors that pose the same serious risks to cardiovascular health. like smoking cigarettes.

The authors of the new study reported: ‘This study showed that a single person is using an ECIG [electronic cigarette] in a vehicle with the windows closed, a measurable increase in the [particulate matter] concentration.

“Together, these data suggest that bystanders are likely to be exposed to second-hand ECIG aerosol when in a vehicle with someone who is actively using an ECIG.”

To reach their conclusion, the researchers enrolled 60 e-cigarette users with an average age of 20 years. Most were male — more than 63 percent — and more than 83 percent were white.

The vast majority of subjects in the study were daily e-cigarette users and had used primarily disposable devices such as Puff Bars for at least a year. Pod based devices like Juul were the second most popular type of vape used.

However, disposable devices increased particulate matter concentrations more than pod-based devices or larger, more sophisticated devices known as box mods.

Participants were asked to vape in their vehicles after 12 hours without nicotine, first for five minutes with 10 puffs.

They were then allowed to vape for 25 minutes at their leisure. All the while, the users were surrounded by tubes 4 to 6 feet long, connected to devices that measure the volume of matter in the air.

At minute seven in the car, 30 seconds after the last puff, the particulate matter concentration had reached a median level of 107.4 micrograms per cubic meter (µg/m³), more than 22 times the baseline level (4.78 µg/m³) . This was the highest concentration that researchers discovered during the first measured period of puffing.

At minute 19 of the free vaping period, the median level of matter in the air reached 21.32 µg/m3, but that dropped to 13.26 after minute 31.

In both cases, the levels of particulate matter in the air correlated with the number of puffs a person took.

Study participants took an average of 18 puffs (average 29) during the entire session, though there were two outliers in particular who puffed as many as 205 and 285 times.

The researchers removed those two outliers so as not to skew the results, and after that the relationship between matter in the air and the number of puffs remained strong.

They said: ‘While the concentrations achieved by these two participants may not be typical of most vehicles where ECIG use occurs, they are cause for concern. Because [particulate matter] generated by ECIG use is correlated with harmful toxicants produced by ECIG use, those driving vehicles when active ECIG use is taking place are likely to be exposed to high concentrations of ECIG-generated toxic chemicals.”

The devices researchers used to measure matter in the air did not analyze what it was composed of.

However, the liquid in vape devices contains a high level of nicotine, as well as solvents, flavorings and thickeners, and the aerosol produced contains formaldehyde and other volatile organic compounds such as carcinogenic benzene and acetaldehyde.

Both the liquid and aerosol pose unknown long-term risks to users. Even less is known about the effects of second-hand vape.

Their findings were published in the journal Drug and alcohol addiction.