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E-Cig Health Risks & Second Hand Smoke

By Raymond Polidori

Thursday February 20, 2014
Second hand vapor and vaping health risks
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E-Cig Health Risks and Second Hand Smoke

A new scientific study by Drexel University confirms similar studies showing that electronic cigarette health risks are virtually nil for second hand exposure. Concerns over second hand vapor have led many municipal councils across America to propose and pass public Ecig bans.  As mounting evidence clearly shows, e-cigarettes are in actuality a valuable ally against second hand smoking and for tobacco harm reduction.

The study was led by Drexel associate professor Dr. Igor Burstyn.  Dr. Burstyn is an expert in the fields of epidemiology and occupational hygiene.  Expertise in these 2 fields is particularly valuable in terms of determining environmental risk factors affecting human health.  Dr. Burstyn has never been a smoker and has no special interest in the outcome of any study and is in fact a noted impartial researcher.  Such has not been the case in many studies of e-cigarettes.

The electronic cigarette has been plagued by inadequate study and negative conclusions based on minimal sampling and a complete lack of context.  This is a trend that began with the often-quoted FDA study from 2009 in which a single sample of vapor from a single ecig model showed a trace toxic element.  That trace amount was miniscule and yet has been the basis of many restrictive regulatory policies.  Moreover, inadequate study has led to negative assumptions regarding second hand vaping.

Dr. Burstyn has joined a community of researchers that have provided abundant evidence that second hand vapor creates no byproducts that impact human health.  The Drexel University study examined aerosol samples for nicotine related contaminants, volatile organic contaminants, such as formaldehyde and acetone, as well as trace metals.  No levels were detected that would have any impact on human health.  In Dr. Burstyn’s conclusion his opening sentence read, “current data do not indicate that exposures to vapers from contaminants in electronic cigarettes warrant a concern”.

The study included a vigorous investigation of previous research.  In the process of undertaking that research, Drexel University found that much of the data was very difficult to access.  Dr. Burstyn stated, “It is clearly the case that only a portion of all industry technical reports were available for public access, so it is possible that those withmore problematic results were systematically suppressed, though there is no evidence tosupport this speculation.  No formal attempt was made to ascertain publication bias, in situ though it is apparent that anomalous results do gain prominence in typical reviews of the literature”.

In other words, in working to access previous data collected by similar studies, researchers concluded that there was a probability that studies with similar results are concealed from the public and only those with abnormal results are publicly reported.  Basically the electronic cigarette has some powerful enemies and there are a number of special interests at work actively involved in limiting the options available to smokers that are seeking an alternative to the horrific and obvious harms of tobacco.

[Source: http://www.biomedcentral.com/content/pdf/1471-2458-14-18.pdf]

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