A new study from the Drexel University School of Public Heath has confirmed that the chemicals used in electronic cigarettes and e-liquid pose no health risks for users and pose no health concerns for people exposed to “second hand” vapour.
This is the first conclusive study on the chemicals in electronic cigarettes. Based on generally acceptable exposure limits the report concludes there are no health concerns associated with the use of these devices.
Electronic cigarettes are a relatively new invention and as a result the health implications of these devices have been unknown. A lot of controversy has surrounded electronic cigarettes as a result of the massive increase of use. This disruptive technology has resulted in loss of sales of cigarettes and nicotine replacement therapies for big tobacco and pharmaceutical companies. As a result unsubstantiated claims about electronic cigarettes were made including the associated health risks of using them.
These health risk claims alongside other factors relating to the use of e-cigarettes has lead to knee jerk reaction from governments who have debated regulation and restriction of their use. A large area of debate is whether to include electronic cigarettes into smoking bans as the risk from second hand vapour was until now not known.
Health experts have generally agreed that the risk from electronic cigarettes are significantly less than tobacco as they do not contain the carcinogens, tar or carbon monoxide that is so deadly in tobacco smoke. But until now there has been significant debate on how much lower that risk was.
Dr. Burstyn reviewed over 9,000 observations of the chemistry of the vapour in e-liquid used in electronic cigarettes. He determined that the level of e-liquid contaminants found in electronic cigarettes are insignificant to the user, far below any level that would result in any health risk. He also concluded as a result of these levels there is no health risk to the general public as a result of second hand inhalation of e-liquid vapour.
Any proposed legislation to ban the use of electronic cigarettes in areas where they might result in health concerns for the public as a result of second hand inhalation is now unfounded as this study has shown there is no significant health risk.
This study also refutes claims made by tobacco and big pharma that dangerous chemicals such as formaldehyde, acrolein, nitrosamines, metals, and ethylene glycol found in electronic cigarettes are a health hazard. The study concluded that those that were found were only at trivial levels that pose no health concern.
The study was funded by CASAA – The Consumer Advocates for Smoke-free Alternatives which is a donation-funded organization. This organization works to ensure the availability of low-risk alternatives to smoking and to provide the public with truthful information about such alternatives. The study is available here.
This study will hopefully lead to the rethinking of policy and legislation surrounded electronic cigarettes. Now that electronic cigarettes can be shown to be relatively risk free, the harm reduction that can be accomplished from switching from tobacco must encourage policy makers to relax electronic cigarette UK proposed legislation and allow these products to save lives.
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