E-Cigarettes Used Indoors Could Expose Non-Users to Nicotine: Study

People who use e-cigarettes indoors may be exposing the people around them to nicotine, a new study suggests. The amount of secondhand nicotine exposure from e-cigarettes is much smaller than from traditional cigarettes, the researchers conclude.

The study evaluated vapor from three brands of e-cigarettes, using a smoking machine in controlled exposure conditions, MedicalXpress reports.

The researchers, from the Roswell Park Cancer Institute in Buffalo, New York, also compared secondhand smoke exposure from conventional cigarettes to secondhand exposure to e-cigarette vapor. They concluded using e-cigarettes in indoor environments may involuntarily expose nonusers to nicotine, but not to toxic tobacco-specific combustion products.

E-cigarettes are designed to produce nicotine vapor without the combustion of tobacco, the article notes. When a person takes a puff of an e-cigarette, the nicotine solution is heated, and the vapor goes into the lungs. No sidestream vapor is generated between puffs, but some of the mainstream vapor is exhaled by the e-cigarette user.

“Our data suggest that secondhand exposure to nicotine from e-cigarettes is on average 10 times less than from tobacco smoke,” lead researcher Maciej Goniewicz, PhD, PharmD, said in a news release. “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.”

The study appears in Nicotine and Tobacco Research.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) was expected to propose rules on regulating e-cigarettes by October, but the agency has yet to do so. The agency did send a proposed rule in mid-October to the federal Office of Management and Budget, which will review the rule before it is available for public comment.

The FDA is expected to consider e-cigarettes as tobacco products, which will allow the agency to provide the same federal oversight that applies to cigarettes, chewing tobacco, cigarette tobacco, and roll-your-own tobacco.

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    Vape Vader

    August 22, 2014 at 6:33 PM

    Bottom Line: Vaping threatens the states’ money source. Sin taxes on cigarettes prop up the governments of every state in the US, so any threat to that income will be attacked mercilessly by those that profit from dealing cigarette-of-death to citizens. Healthcare for those harmed by smoking cigarettes is BIG BUSINESS making hundreds of $billions. Big Pharma stands to lose $billions if a safe alternative to smoking…like vapeing, becomes widespread. The shape is that taxpayer money went in to promoting the dis-information campaign, like Orange County California’s notsosafe.org website FILLED WITH RUBBISH PSEUDO SCIENCE about vaping, and probably illegally using California taxes to fund the trash logic it published there.

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    July 31, 2014 at 1:07 PM

    Since all the studies show that e-cigs and personal vaporizers (PVs) are far less hazardous than cigarettes, and tobacco harm reduction is the major goal of most medical associations and involved governmental agencies, I cannot understand why these associations are not wholeheartedly supporting this relatively new technology.

    Sure, they may not be totally risk free over the long term – but we know that cigarettes are deadly. What happened to the tobacco harm reduction policy? Was that just a smokescreen to allow the drug industry to sell their dangerous nicotine replacement drugs?

    The people that scream about nicotine addiction are using a “red herring argument”. The FDA has approved all sorts of nicotine replacement therapy systems – unfortunately most of them are ineffective at best.

    So why are these mostly useless systems being promoted while trying to ban vaping? Could it be because the drug companies make huge profits off their FDA protected NRT products, but would not be able to compete in the vaping marketplace?

    If you are worried about side effects, look up the adverse reaction reports on the approved NRT products – they are scary, even on the short term.

    So if the FDA restricts e-cigs/PVs to the extent that they have proposed, then only the huge companies will be able to afford the enormous costs of getting devices approved – possibly as much as $500,000 per device, with each new variation requiring a new approval. The result will be that PVs will become illegal and only varieties of the fairly ineffective e-cigs plus one or two flavors will be legal. I suspect the tobacco industry would prefer it to be that way.

    Better would be to ban e-cigs completely and encourage the development and promotion of personal vaporizers as an effective way to reduce or even quit smoking.

    After being a heavy smoker for over 45 years and making many attempts to quit smoking, including hypnotism and acupuncture, nothing worked and I have realized that I am never going to break my nicotine addiction. I started using a PV and have been smoke free for almost a year. If it becomes illegal or too expensive for me to use a decent vaping device, I am afraid that I will go back to cigarettes.

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    July 22, 2014 at 11:45 AM

    The anti-vaping movement will hinder the advancement of personal vaporizers to some degree for sure. It will not eliminate it however because good science, no matter how scary, always prevails over fear. My concern is that fear of something new might actually be killing people.
    Granted the people most affected will be nicotine addicted, but all of them deserve the choice to live healthier lives.
    12 months without a tobacco cigarette, breathing easier, tasting more, snoring less,
    Thanks for posting my comment on this issue.

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    July 18, 2014 at 7:12 PM

    I only wish that more recent studies were made public. Electronic cigarettes have saved my life. I am now 91 days – smoke free.

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