- Mar 28, 2014
http:// gizmodo.com/ study-some-e-cigs-put-out-tobacco-like-levels-of-carci-1571501156
Study: Some E-Cigs Put Out Tobacco-Like Levels of Carcinogens
An upcoming study in the peer-reviewed journal Nicotine and Tobacco Research says that some tank-style e-cigarettes emit cancer-causing formaldehyde in their vapor at levels similar to traditional tobacco cigarettes. The New York Times, which revealed the findings ahead of publication, says a second study confirms the results.
The problem seems to be that some tank-style e-cigarettes (the larger, refillable style that vaporize liquid nicotine) get so hot, they cause formaldehyde to form in the vapor they put out.
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The finding comes on the heels of the FDA's proposal to regulate e-cigs under the same rules as traditional combustible tobacco. However, those proposed rules would focus on the ingredients that go into e-cig juice, not on the chemical makeup of the vapor that comes out. So far, e-cig emissions (the content of the vapor they produce) is an unregulated area.
It's a complicated area of study, in part because there are so many various manufacturers of e-cigs, and the products are largely non-standardized. One of the studies, performed at the Roswell Park Cancer Institute in Buffalo, found that levels of carcinogens increased markedly when the battery output of the tank-style e-cigs was boosted from 3.2 volts to 4.8 volts.
Then there's the way that consumers use e-cigs: the higher heat that scientists say creates carcinogens also produces more potent vapor. Many e-cig tinkerers boost the heat output of their devices, or dribble liquid nicotine directly on the heating element for a more intense vapor. The researchers say dripping puts out carcinogen levels that approach the concentration found in old-fashioned cigarettes.
Dr. Alan Shihadeh at the Virginia Commonwealth University's Center for the Study of Tobacco Products, who led one of the studies, acknowledged that while the e-cig study only examined a handful of carcinogens, traditional cigarettes put out dozens of cancer-causing compounds. As he told The New York Times:
If I was in a torture chamber and you said I had to puff on something, I'd choose an e-cigarette over a regular cigarette. But if you said I could choose an e-cigarette or clean air, I'd definitely choose clean air. And I definitely wouldn't drip.
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The studies will be published beginning May 15th. Until then, maybe you should hold off on the heavy-duty vaping. E-cigs may not be exactly the same as the dead leaves Don Draper smoked, but this particular similarity isn't all that enticing. [NYT]