5. Safety of Ruyan® e-cigarette ‘smoke’ for bystanders.
Method. Analysis of published data on nicotine absorption, and informal comments of
bystanders, and observation of e-cigarette smoking indoors.
Results. Cigarette smoke is a mixture of sidestream smoke and exhaled mainstream
smoke. In constrast, the e-cigarette generates no sidestream smoke from its (artificially
lit) tip. Any exhaled PG
mist visibly dissipates to vapor within seconds. Non-smoking
bystanders do not find the mist unpleasant. The mist is odorless, and those close by
quickly realize it does not have the odor of smoke or the irritating quality of tobacco
Comments. Inhaled nicotine in cigarette smoke is over 98% absorbed 6, and so the
exhaled mist of the e-cigarette is composed of propylene glycol, and probably contains
almost no nicotine; and no CO. (see Figure 3.5) Lacking any active ingredient or any
gaseous products of combustion, the PG mist or ‘smoke’ is not harmful to bystanders.
The ‘smoke’ or mist is not tobacco smoke, and not from combustion – no flame is lit –
and is not defined as environmental tobacco smoke.
E-cigarette “smoking” would be
permitted under New Zealand’s Smoke-free Environments Act 1990.33