By David Alliot
The toxicity argument against e-cigarettes just went up in smoke, according to an analysis between conventional smoke and the vapor of the electronic kind — e-cig vapor was found to be 95 percent less toxic than smoke.
The study pitted Vype ePen against unnamed research cigarettes, and revealed substantial reductions in the ePen emissions for all toxicant groups measured. In fact, most cigarette smoke toxicants could not be detected in the e-cigarette vapor, according to the results published in the journal Chemical Research in Toxicology.
Dr. Kevin McAdam, who heads of research for Next Generation Products at British American Tobacco, said, “We have tested for a total of 142 compounds, including those listed by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration as harmful or potentially harmful, those compounds listed by the World Health Organization, and Health Canada, and those reported previously to be generated by e-cigarettes.”
The two were “puffed” using robots in separate rooms and the emissions were then collected. Because the levels of some constituents in e-cigarette vapor were anticipated to be very low, the air was also tested for any contamination.
Independent contract labs quantified emissions, including carbon/nitrogen oxides, carbonyls/dicarbonyls, alcohols/di-alcohols, phenols, and nicotine and related compounds.
The results revealed an average reduction of well over 90 percent for the e-cigarettes.
The e-cigarette vapor produced more of four aerosol components, as expected due to their purpose: propylene glycol (PG), vegetable glycerine (VG), menthol, and chromium. The components PG and VG are used to make e-liquid, and menthol is used as a flavor.
The presence of chromium was attributed to the nichrome wire used for the heating element, but daily exposures were expected to be lower than that from smoking.
The tests offer valued information on tobacco and nicotine products and could be used to help develop standards for them in the future.