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Secondhand exposure to nicotine from e-cigs 10 times less than tobacco smoke

Last Updated: Sunday, December 15, 2013 - 11:58
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Washington: A new study has found that electronic cigarettes, when used indoors, may involuntarily expose non-users to nicotine and the secondhand exposure is on average 10 times less than from tobacco smoke.

Electronic cigarettes (e-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 vapour is taken into the lungs.

Maciej Goniewicz , PhD, PharmD, of Roswell Park Cancer Institute (RPCI), along with his team examined e-cigarette vapour from three different brands of e-cigarettes using a smoking machine in controlled exposure conditions. They also compared secondhand smoke exposure of e-cigarette vapour and tobacco smoke generated by dual users.

Results showed that e-cigarettes emitted significant amounts of nicotine, but did not emit substantial amounts of carbon monoxide and toxic volatile organic compounds.

The level of secondhand exposure to nicotine depended on the e-cigarette brand. Additionally, the emissions of nicotine from e-cigarettes were significantly lower than those of conventional tobacco cigarettes.

"To our knowledge, this is one of the first studies to measure the air concentrations of nicotine and volatile organic compounds and compare the emissions from electronic and conventional tobacco cigarettes," Dr. Goniewicz said. "Our data suggest that secondhand exposure to nicotine from e-cigarettes is on average 10 times less than from tobacco smoke."

The study is published in the journal Nicotine and Tobacco Research.

First Published: Sunday, December 15, 2013 - 11:58
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