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Friday, January 23, 2015

E-cigarette Vapor Contains Formaldehyde

Researchers continue to uncover new findings regarding the dangers of e-cigarettes. A new study has found that e-cigarette vapor can contain formaldehyde, a known carcinogen, at levels five to 15 times higher than regular cigarettes, NPR reports. The research was conducted at Portland State University in Oregon.

“I think this is just one more piece of evidence amid a number of pieces of evidence that e-cigarettes are not absolutely safe,” said co-author David Peyton. “We simulated vaping by drawing the vapor — the aerosol — into a syringe, sort of simulating the lungs,” he explained.

Peyton pointed out that long-term exposure to formaldehyde is known to be a contributing factor with lung cancer. “And so we would like to minimize contact (to the extent one can) especially to delicate tissues like the lungs.”

However, some believe that the findings are inaccurate, saying the testing conditions were unrealistic. “If you hold the button on an e-cigarette for 100 seconds, you could potentially produce 100 times more formaldehyde than you would ever get from a cigarette,” said Gregory Conley of the American Vaping Association. “But no human vaper would ever vape at that condition, because within one second their lungs would be incredibly uncomfortable.”

"They clearly did not talk to [people who use e-cigarettes] to understand this," says Conley. "They think, 'Oh well. If we hit the button for so many seconds and that produces formaldehyde, then we have a new public health crisis to report.' "

The findings were published in this week’s New England Journal of Medicine.

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