E-cigarettes Carry Higher Formaldehyde Risk than Thought Before

Published Date : May 23, 2018

E-cigarettes or electronic cigarettes have remained at the forefront of extensive research activities over the years as anti-smoking campaigners touted them as a good alternative to conventional cigarettes while researchers denied to give the products a clean chit due to absence of detailed laboratory tests regarding all their impacts on the smokers. Research studies continue to take place in the area frequently and new data is being gathered regarding the possible health effects, sometimes undesirable, of e-cigarettes on the health of smokers.

In a similar study, researchers from the Portland State University (PSU), who had also published the results of another study in 2015 regarding the presence of formerly undiscovered varieties of formaldehyde in the vapors of e-cigarettes, have revisited the study and found that the risk of formaldehyde in e-cigarettes was higher than thought originally.

In the study undertaken three years ago, it was revealed that vapors of e-cigarettes can have nearly five to 15 times higher quantities of new formaldehyde types as compared to formaldehyde that regular cigarettes contain. The chemicals were detected in the vapors when the vaping device used in the experiment was set to the high point of heat settings. Formaldehyde, a known cancer-causing agent, ups the risk factor of e-cigarettes. Unlike formaldehyde in the gaseous form, the new compounds discovered in the e-cigarettes are in the form of particulates in e-cigarettes aerosols, which enables them to deposit more deeply in the smoker’s lungs as compared to gaseous formaldehyde.

The results of the 2015 study were criticized largely by e-cigarette advocates, who had the opinion that the high point in heat settings will lead to an unpleasant taste and would therefore be avoided by most people using e-cigarettes. In the new study, the researchers have found that the new formaldehyde compounds and gaseous formaldehyde were detectable in e-cigarettes even when they were operated at lower and the more commonly used heat settings. The study thus raises concerns regarding the potential risk factors associated with the use of e-cigarettes.