There’s no doubting that the introduction of e-cigarettes and vaping has been a controversial one and will doubtless continue to be so for some people. Now a new study has shown that indoor vaping is ‘unlikely’ to be as big a risk as was originally thought.
The study is the first to take an in-depth look at the chemical particles that are expelled when someone uses an e-cigarette. It involved studying a range of closed-system e-cigarettes of the type that are most commonly used in public and was conducted by the Kaunas University of Technology in Lithuania in collaboration with the EMPA Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology as well as ETH Zurich, the Swiss Federal Institute for Technology and with Fontem Ventures.
The findings from the study were that the liquid vapour emitted by an e-cigarette evaporated within seconds and caused no serious effect to the air quality in the room. They also tried the same experience in a room with no ventilation whatsoever and were surprised to find the same results.
The details of the collaboration study were presented to the 4th Workplace and Indoor Aerosols conference that took place in Barcelona on April 20th. Presenting the research was Professor Dainius Martuzevicius, the Vice Dean for Research at Kaunas University.
The professor went on to say that there was previously very little data available on the properties of the particles exhaled from e-cigarettes and this means that the discussions within the public health community had very little scientific literature to go on.
So the study was conducted by the groups to scientifically study the case. They used commercially available closed systems and measured the air immediately after exhalation. Their instruments show that not only did the particles decay rapidly but that liquid vapour droplets returned to background levels within seconds of each exhalation.
This is in contrast to the particles exhaled into the air by normal cigarette smoking, which have been shown to linger in the air for extended periods of time, even in well-ventilated rooms. The ventilation of the room had no effect on the speed that the vapours from the e-cigarette dissipated, meaning even completely enclosed rooms without ventilation saw the same result.
Therefore, the view of the scientists involved in the study was that vaping was unlikely to cause a risk to others in the room due to the chemical particles exhaled. The dissipation rate of the vapours is much the same as other consumer aerosol-based products.
The study supports the conclusions already held by institutions including Public Health England and Cancer Research UK that indoor vaping is unlikely to cause air quality problems for anyone else in the room.
Further research is being conducted by Fontem Ventures into what the exact chemical makeup of these vapours are in comparison to the chemical particles in other aerosol-based products commonly used around homes and business properties. They are expecting to present these results in the Global Forum on Nicotine in Poland later this year.