Scientists Find the Same Ecig “Toxins” In Regular Human Breath

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All over the country, lawmakers are arguing that vaping should be banned in public areas because they fear it will put people at risk through secondhand exposure. Most recently, Los Angeles joined the campaign to outlaw public vaping, claiming that ecig vapor contains dangerous toxins like lead, nickel, nicotine, and chromium. After doing a little research, we found scientific evidence to refute lawmaker claims. It turns out that the same alleged toxins in secondhand vapor are also found in regular outdoor air and even in human breath.

Lawmakers like to cite studies that identified trace amounts of toxic compounds in e-cig vapor, but more thorough studies have shown that the vapor is not posing any threat at all.  For instance, a study by Dr. Igor Burstyn examined more than 9,000 clouds of vapor and found no public threat. While there are trace amounts of chemicals present, they are so minor that it couldn’t harm a bystander.

In the case of Los Angeles, the fight to ban e-cigs is almost comical considering the vast amount of research conducted on pollution in their own city. As you might suspect, Los Angeles has a significant amount of air pollution already, thanks to heavy traffic and manufacturing emissions. However, people might be surprised to learn that the human body adds to the air pollution by emitting volatile compounds with each exhaled breath.

One study done at Los Angeles universities studied these toxic compounds in human breath and found five specific carcinogens in trace amounts: acetone, formaldehyde, acetaldehyde, butanone, and isoprene. While these toxins are lurking in the air everyday, lawmakers argue that e-cigs must be banned because they are exposing the public to these same chemicals. In reality, the very toxins in ecig vapor are going to be found in human breath whether the person is blowing out vapor or simply exhaling.

A second study focused specifically on the air quality in LA by testing the air around three elementary schools. Once again, researchers discovered the same alleged toxins in the air, but there were no vapers to blame this time!

With a few minutes of research and a heavy dose of common sense, it’s easy to see that electronic cigarettes are not posing a threat to Los Angeles public health anymore than normal breathing. While vapor does contain small amounts of these toxins, the same can be said for the normal air as well as human breath. It’s time for lawmakers to find a better argument to refute electronic cigarettes. So far, everything they claim can be easily debunked with a little science.

The reality is that electronic cigarettes are not the enemy. Unfortunately, it’s going to take some heavy lobbying from the ecig community to ever expose the lies and show the public that e-cigs are actually helpful. What are your experiences with vaping in public? Do you ever get dirty looks or negative comments from bystanders?

Jimmy, lover, blogger, vaper and ex-smoker. I’ve been blogging about and supporting Vaping since 2009. They changed my life and I think history will show them as one of the most significant public health invention of the 21st century.

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27 Responses

  1. mayno says:

    only the Burstyn study is valid for your argument and for sake of proving that ecigs may not be that harmful at all. the other 2 studies you point out do nothing to validate ecig’s harmlessness. those other studies MUST compare them directly with ecigs vapor and in the same environment and/or laboratory conditions. to cite 2 studies that make no mention of ecig vapor does not help our cause.

    • R L says:

      I have to disagree with you mayo…there are plenty of studies that have been done all over the world where the results are all the same. E-cig vapour is harmless. period. That’s the argument here.

  2. Brad Stubbs says:

    Regardless of what study says what, the simple fact is that for the MAJORITY of users… E-cigs or vaporizers are a means of smoking cessation, I am lucky to live in the era that I do… I have tried quitting many many times, and unfortunately most of the quit smoking products have nasty side effects… I haven’t smoked an actual cigarette in a little over two months and already I am down to 3mg of nicotine as opposed to my starting point of 18mg… I don’t have NEARLY as many cravings, and even when people smoke actual cigarettes I don’t crave THEM anymore either… why can’t people see that they are only hindering the people that are trying to better their lives and their health????

  3. Carlos says:

    I always get bad looks when I vape or use my mod . Always some idiot or drunk or know it all. Criticize about that is worst than cigarettes .

  4. Carlos says:

    I tried quitting cigarettes for years my mother got me to quit . She bought my first EgO vaporizer for me on December 24th 2013 . It works but in my case I still Smoke cigarettes once in s while

  5. Kenshin says:

    I for one have been questioned about the effectiveness and harmfulness of it and my reply to that is I’ve been smoking since I was 16 and thanks to vapes after little over 10 years of smoking I’m glad I was able to find something that could satisfy the the smoking sensation as well as give me my breathing capabilities back. Not only do I wake up to a goodnight sleep without being disturb due to mucus build up and coughing because of all the carcinogens in cigarettes, but I smell better without the strong odors of cigs. I’ve also cut down from 12mg to 6mg nico dosage and slowly one day hope reach 0mg and just enjoy the flavor and quit all together, but in the meantime I don’t fear cancer. Aside from the fact of pollution in the air quality, not to mention all the political mumbo jumbo in LA. Their arguments are as concerning as a child’s cry of the boogeyman in the closet. I understand the concern to avoid smoking in general around kids, and I respect that, family oriented places have the right to refuse your service if you are acting unethical within their facility. If bars and/or restaurants business are obviously being affect then they would mouth their own opinion to their customers. Who gives the right to fat cats and ignorant people the right to enforce the use within personal businesses. If these vapes set off fire detectors then you should be concerned. As for Herb Wesson, just because he had low self esteem as a child and was easily manipulated by so call “friends” of his or whatever reason he felt it was “cool” to smoke was up to him and should speak for himself, he has no right to voice his personal reason as a prime example to prevent other smokers to indulge themselves into a life which turns them away from the proven root of cancer, tobacco companies. I’ve probably said too much as it is so end with all you non belivers, look on the bright side, these have proven more helpful than harmful , for everything. Air quality is better with less burning of cigarettes (I can’t prove this but it maybe possible), not to mention less trash due to littering if cigarette butts. And I’m sure sales have gone down, meaning less production, there less wasted materials on cancer sticks. What more can you ask for.

  6. Kevin says:

    I haven’t smoked a real cig in 105 with the help of a e-cig

  7. rebecca says:

    I’ve never had a problem with regular non smokers but I do get looks from people that smoke cigarettes but I’m not bothered by them cause I know I’m not doing any damage to anyone.

    • Kenshin says:

      Haha they probably just curious, I’ve had lots of smokers ask me about cause in sure they’re looking for a way out

  8. harleyrider1778 says:

    There are 4,000-7000 theorized chemicals in tobacco smoke (there are 2,000 in coffee) of which only 65 are vaguely carcinogenic. None exist in any quantity to cause harm. I can only assume some of the people commenting here are displaying symptoms of physcho-somaticism, it’s all the mind or fancy a fat payout from the courts.

    In 1991 an experiment was done on side stream smoke (SSS). SSS is undiluted by inhalation via a smoker’s lungs where 95% of the chemicals are ingested. The setting was a room 20 feet by 24 feet by 9 feet, sealed and unventilated and the “sniffer” was 6 inches away from the lit cigarette. It produced the following results whereby you would have to be surrounded by the following number of smokers to reach a dangerous level.

    Benzene 13,300 smokers.
    Polonium 750,000.
    Nickel 40,000.
    Acetone 178,000
    Benzo(a)pyrence 220,000.

    So you are telling me smoke travelling 10-20 feet diluted by other air is a health hazard? You remind me of alchemists of the middle ages. Benzene constitutes 3% of a gallon of gas, and is often unburned in a car engine, the by product is benzo(a)pyrene. Your car will kill far more people before a smoker.

  9. harleyrider1778 says:

    You will find the same constituents in tobacco smoke too!

  10. Kristin F says:

    E-cigs are the reason that my family is now smoke free!! All FIVE former smokers in my family quit with ecigs. We’ve all been smoke free for a year. After many attempts to quit smoking with no success, my dad discovered ecigs and it trickled down to my sister and I and our husbands. Its amazing how much more time I have since I’m not constantly stopping what I’m doing so I can go out for a smoke. I had my first physical with my dr since I quit smoking in April 2013 and he was amazed at how good and clear my lungs sounded and how strong my heart was. I’m only 33 but had smoked a pack a day for 15 years solid and I was no doubt on the road to an early death related to cigarettes. Now I feel like I have my life back thanks to ecigs!!!

  11. Alisha says:

    I had no idea human breath was so dangerous! Next time someone tries to tell me my e-cigarette is as bad as smoking, I will ask them to kindly close their mouth so as to not expose me to acetone, formaldehyde, acetaldehyde, butanone, and isoprene.

    • tom says:

      Haha Alisha, I’ll do the same 🙂 wish I could get a payout from the tobacco industry to make stuff up xD

  12. Jim kalb says:

    The people that don’t understand why we do this will always be against what we do. If it helps people and does not hurt anyone else how can it be bad? The Big Tobacco and Drug Companies are and will always be against it and try to sway the researchers I’m sure to be against it.

  13. Patrick says:

    The link to the second study is broken (leads to 404 page)

    • Jimmy Hafrey says:

      Hi Patrick, thanks for the heads up but they both work OK for me… which link are you having issues with? The or one? They’re PDF’s so I can email them to you if you’re still having troubles?

  14. amanda says:

    regardless of the science I never like walking into a cloud of smell. Whatever you are smoking cigarettes, ecigs, joints etc…stop putting these extraneous noxious smells in my face. And what is with ecig users thinking its ok to use them in non-smoking areas? it is NOT

    • Nick says:

      Then don’t walk into the dam clouds…

    • Emily says:

      Wow. If someone is blowing things in your face, say something because that’s rude. If you’re just downwind, MOVE. If it’s really just the smell bothering you, GET OVER IT. People wear noxious perfume and cologne every day and the rest of the world gets over it. Why does the world have to revolve around you? Smells surround us every day. You can’t just pick on people because you don’t like the smell! That’s a completely personal problem you’re just going to have to get over, or wear some sort of mask. I cannot believe how self-centered people have gotten. We all live on this planet. More and more people are born every day… if what they’re doing isn’t HARMFUL to you, you’re just going to have to get over it or live in isolation; Those are your options.

    • rob says:

      Central air conditioning is ten thousand times worse than E-Cig vapor, be sure to keep it out of you face too.

  15. I’m convinced.. I vape anywhere with no problems cause I swallow the vapor so that no one sees it… I think of the guys who get uncomfortable around it like having clusterphobia. Its all in their head… They see me taking it in and start looking convinced…cause the vapor actually disappears while its in the chests unlike smoke that you might find yourself burping out 5-15 minutes later if u were to hold it in like that. I get nothing but thumbs up mostly.

  16. Anthony J. Broyles Jr. says:

    The fact of the matter is, the media got played up to make it look as though vaping was a danger. More and more people have found that they are doing better since switching to vaping. The problem isn’t the studies, it is the fact that Big Pharma and Big Tobacco are losing money because they are losing customers. The more people see the truth, the more they are going to fight to keep people unhealthy because that is the way they make money. It is sad when money is more important than the health of the public.

  17. Kevin says:

    What about the chemical diacetyl? What are your thoughts on how it is harmful. I have been vaping for a while now. I make my own juice and have been avoiding diacetyl in flavoring.

    • David Moger says:

      Diacetyl. First it is one of thoes 4.500 chemicals in cigarettes. There is 100 times more than in some vapor. Most vapor contains none. The problem is that in one popcorn factory there were a cluster of lung problems called popcorn lung, I deliberately said one as there are many worldwide that have not had this problem. As cigarette smokers consume 100 times as much as vapers (all of whom used to be smokers) I have to ask how many smokers do you know with popcorn lung? That said one of the beauties of vaping is we can modify our behaviour by only vaping liquid fee of Diacetyl .

  18. william l says:

    I quit vaping after a yr and a half of using them….and got sick and developed a serious sinus infection for two weeks… still trying to fet over the sinus infection. .. thats all im saying. .. good luck to any trying to quit real cigs

  19. Timothy J.Duffy says:

    E-cigs or what I call the stealth cigarette due to having no smell and the visibility of smoke dissipating immediately where you can pretty much sneak a puff anywhere has been peer reviewed. While studies still have to be made about the health consequences of individuals smoking e-cigs they still found that second hand smoke is harmless. Along with E-cigs helping people quit smoking they are also great for replacing analogue cigarettes and both politicians and ourselves forgot that we have a right to do that if we want. We found a way to make second hand smoke in smoking E-cigs harmless. There is no excuse to prohibit them. Hence we can now tell nazi non-smokers where to get off. Unfortunately since both the Democrats and Republicans are regularly in bed with corporate lobbyists we will always have problems with rights and freedoms like this. This is the price of allowing corporatism to rule our country. The answer to things like this? Just do what the founding fathers did, gang up on those morons and show them what for. Problem solved.

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