Second Hand E-Cigarette Vapor
A good amount of us are ex-smokers that picked up an E-Cig and have never turned back. We switch for many reasons and we're all well aware of the dangers of regular tobacco cigarettes and even its second hand smoke. But what about the vapor we are inhaling and the vapor being exhaled. There has been much controversy on the matter as there just isn't much research being done on it.
Many of my friends honestly don't care and use their E-Cigs freely even in front of their newborns and toddlers merely assuming it is safe. Recently on the news there has been a rumor on formaldehyde being present in the vapor being created by E-Cigs, but hasn't really backed it up with a formal study. This scared some people and even a handful of folks I personal known went back to regular cigarettes. I recently stumbled upon this study that was done the last couple of months. In this article they dive into the vapor that is being produced and more specifically the amount it produces depending on the voltage being used.
First and foremost regular cigarettes produces many carcinogens, over 84 actually according to the FDA, including formaldehyde, acetaldehyde, and acetone. These three chemicals were tested in the study to see what levels are released when electronic cigarettes are used. The study E-Juice that was purchased at the store (not a custom blend) and was a 50PG/50VG ratio. 100% VG and 100% PG was used as the control groups.
Looking at formaldehyde first, it seems the higher the PG content, the more formaldehyde will be released. In the case of 50PG/50VG ratio and 100% PG, it seems the higher the voltage being outputted by your device, the higher the levels of formaldehyde will be released. For 100% VG, no formaldehyde is present. With acetaldehyde and acetone however is present in all three groups. With acetaldehyde 100% VG has the lowest level, then 50/50 ratio, than 100% PG. With acetone, 100% VG is still the lowest followed by 50/50 ratio and 100% PG similar to acetaldehyde; however unlike acetaldehyde it seems more acetone is released with the 50/50 ratio when voltage is increased, more than the 100% PG actually.
This seemed surprising at first as the current trend shows the high the PG level the more of the three chemicals that will be released. However a reasonable explanation would be the flavoring used in the 50/50 ratio E-Juice. E-Juice flavorings (especially the low quality type) can be alcohol based thus the increase of acetone being released. Capella and The Flavor Apprentice are two companies that avoid acetone in their flavoring solutions. So not all E-Juice have to have acetone.
Many E-Juice vendors are often more than happy to disclose the ingredients being used and where they are being purchased as these are mostly small business owners. They may not disclose the recipes in which they combine the different flavorings but every E-Juice vendor I've talked to has told me which flavoring company they purchase from and where to find additional information to see what the flavorings are made out of. Very rarely do U.S. E-Juice vendors use any flavorings from China; most all flavorings are either based from USA or Europe (The Flavor Artist – another popular flavoring manufacturer – is based out of Italy).
Something that all E-Cig users should take note of is the higher the voltage (wattage as well) being used increases the chemicals being released. So the more advanced users that have high wattage devices should take this into consideration especially with using a higher PG blend of E-Juice. Although with lower wattages these chemicals being released is still much lower than that of regular cigarettes, by several folds in fact. But with higher wattages and using a high PG blend, your E-Cigs are releasing just as much as regular tobacco cigarettes. This makes second hand vapor more dangerous than previously assumed.
The risk can be greatly decreased it seems by using a higher VG blend and to use juice with a premium or high quality flavoring. But still one should take mind when vaping in front of children or anyone else for that matter. Saying “It's just vapor” cannot be an excuse anymore.