Researchers from the American Physiological Association recently released the findings of a study conducted citing that e-cigarette vapour, even those that use no nicotine, can be damaging to the lungs. The study contains a great deal of information; however there are some questions regarding the methodology in the study that have made the results questionable to many.
The importance of the temperature of the vapour that was being tested and produced needs to be considered first. New research that was put forth by Dr. Konstantinos Farsalinos has shown that e-cigarettes have shown that they produce chemicals that are harmful only when they are burned at a rate that is high or what is known as “dry puffing.” People using e-cigarettes in reality would never be able to do this, but it is possible in lab conditions. Findings can thus be generated using these methods even if they are not possible or plausible for people to do on their own.
There are also some potential bias concerns regarding the study. The Kentucky Tobacco Research Center had involvement in the study and the group has put forth studies in the past stating they are health concerns regarding e-cigarettes, vapour and lung health; however, these previous studies have been debunked because of the use of methods deemed unscientific or unrealistic. The group has the reputation of concocting a particular environment in a lab that will allow for the production of the type of results they want the most. Since their motives are in question there is no real objectiveness in the study or the conclusions arrived at.
The study also harshly criticises the use of propylene glycol, going as far as calling it “anti-freeze.” What many people do not know is that propylene glycol is a common additive in products such as cosmetics, asthma inhalers and even food products. The FDA does not have an issue with this additive, but critics of the e-cigarette industry continue to harp on it as a negative aspect to associate with the product.
It is important that any study conducted be taken in context and given perspective. While no one will argue that e-cigarettes are completely risk free, they are a better and safer choice than traditional cigarettes. Using e-cigarettes eliminates all of the harsh chemicals, carcinogens, compounds, tar and tobacco from getting into the lungs, making them a positive step in working towards smoking cessation.
Are there questions or concerns regarding this new study?