Study documents secondhand exposure to vapors from electronic cigarettes

December 13, 2013, Roswell Park Cancer Institute

Electronic cigarettes, when used indoors, may involuntarily expose non-users to nicotine, according to a study led by Maciej Goniewicz, PhD, PharmD, of Roswell Park Cancer Institute (RPCI) and published by the journal Nicotine and Tobacco Research.

Electronic cigarettes () are consumer products designed to generate nicotine aerosol, or vapor, without the combustion of tobacco. When an e-cigarette user takes a puff, the nicotine solution is heated, and the vapor is taken into the lungs. Researchers examined e-cigarette vapor from three different brands of e-cigarettes using a smoking machine in controlled exposure conditions. They also compared of e-cigarette vapor and generated by dual users.

"To our knowledge, this is one of the first studies to measure the air concentrations of nicotine and and compare the emissions from electronic and conventional tobacco cigarettes," said Dr. Goniewicz, a researcher and Assistant Professor of Oncology in RPCI's Department of Health Behavior. "Our data suggest that secondhand exposure to nicotine from e-cigarettes is on average 10 times less than from tobacco smoke. However, more research is needed to evaluate the health consequences of secondhand exposure to nicotine from e-cigarettes, especially among vulnerable populations including children, pregnant women and people with cardiovascular conditions."

Study observations also include:

  • This study focused on nicotine and a limited number of chemicals released from e-cigarettes. Future research should explore emissions and exposures to other toxins and compounds identified in e-cigarettes such as formaldehyde, acetaldehyde and acrolein.
  • Data also are needed to determine whether secondhand exposure to e-cigarette vapors results in reinforcement of nicotine addiction.
  • More research is needed to investigate whether the vapor from e-cigarettes is deposited on surfaces to form 'thirdhand' e-cigarette vapor.

"Questions remain regarding the health impact of e-cigarettes among smokers and nonsmokers. It remains unclear whether young people will see e-cigarette use as a social norm and if e-cigarettes will be used as sources of nicotine in places with smoking bans, thus circumventing tobacco-free laws," said Andrew Hyland, PhD, Chair of the Department of Health Behavior at RPCI. "This study and others can guide policymakers as decisions are made about the regulation of the nicotine delivery devices."

Explore further: Dental researchers examine hidden health impact of electronic cigarettes

More information: The complete study can be found here: ntr.oxfordjournals.org/content … /10/ntr.ntt203.short

Related Stories

Dental researchers examine hidden health impact of electronic cigarettes

December 12, 2013
The electronic cigarette (e-cig) was introduced in the U.S. in 2007 and offers nicotine-addicted individuals an alternative to smoking tobacco. E-cigs have been marketed as a safe alternative to tobacco smoking and most are ...

What are electronic cigarettes?

December 12, 2013
As rates of smoking fall in Australia, electronic cigarette manufacturers are moving in. Liberty Flights last week released an (awful) online ad to "create awareness" of electronic or e-cigarettes in the Australian marketplace.

40 AGs urge tight regulation of e-cigarettes

September 24, 2013
Forty attorneys general are urging the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to meet its own deadline and regulate electronic cigarettes in the same way it regulates tobacco products.

Electronic cigarettes: New route to smoking addiction for adolescents

November 26, 2013
E-cigarettes have been widely promoted as a way for people to quit smoking conventional cigarettes. Now, in the first study of its kind, UC San Francisco researchers are reporting that, at the point in time they studied, ...

Doctors unaware that more teens are turning to E-cigarettes

December 11, 2013
The use of electronic cigarettes, battery operated devices that often look like cigarettes and deliver vaporized nicotine, is on the rise, including among minors. In a survey between 2011 and 2012, 10 percent of high school ...

Switzerland bans e-cigarettes in public transport

November 12, 2013
Use of e-cigarettes in public transport in Switzerland will be banned as of next month, the national association of mass transit operators said Tuesday.

Recommended for you

Who uses phone apps to track sleep habits? Mostly the healthy and wealthy in US

January 16, 2018
The profile of most Americans who use popular mobile phone apps that track sleep habits is that they are relatively affluent, claim to eat well, and say they are in good health, even if some of them tend to smoke.

Improvements in mortality rates are slowed by rise in obesity in the United States

January 15, 2018
With countless medical advances and efforts to curb smoking, one might expect that life expectancy in the United States would improve. Yet according to recent studies, there's been a reduction in the rate of improvement in ...

Teens likely to crave junk food after watching TV ads

January 15, 2018
Teenagers who watch more than three hours of commercial TV a day are more likely to eat hundreds of extra junk food snacks, according to a report by Cancer Research UK.

Can muesli help against arthritis?

January 15, 2018
It is well known that healthy eating increases a general sense of wellbeing. Researchers at Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU) have now discovered that a fibre-rich diet can have a positive influence ...

Your dishwasher is not as sterile as you think

January 13, 2018
(HealthDay)—Your dishwasher may get those plates spotless, but it is also probably teeming with bacteria and fungus, a new study suggests.

Study reveals what sleep talkers have to say

January 12, 2018
A team of researchers with members from several institutions in France has conducted a study regarding sleep talking and has found that most sleep talking is not only negative in nature, but involves a large amount of swearing. ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.