Study Shows Ecig Vapor Damages Lungs, But Is It Accurate?
A new study came out this week from the American Physiological Association. The researchers are claiming that all ecig vapor (even with zero nicotine) causes damage to the lungs. While the study is full of information, there is undoubtedly some questionable methods present in this study and several reasons why we can’t fully put our trust in the results.
First and foremost, we don’t know the temperature of the vapor that they produced and tested. Dr. Konstantinos Farsalinos recently presented new research that shows that ecigs only produce harmful chemicals when burned at a high rate or “dry puffing”. In a real world situation, vapors would not be using ecigs under these conditions, but in a lab, scientists are able to generate some troublesome findings by pushing the temperature limits and using burned out atomizers. However, this is not a real risk factor for vaping because no one would purposely dry puff on an ecig because the experience is terrible.
Secondly, this study was potentially biased because of the involvement of the Kentucky Tobacco Research Center. This group has released previous studies citing health warnings about vapor and lung health, but they have repeatedly been refuted for using unrealistic methods. In other words, this group is known for creating an environment in the lab that will give them the results they are looking for. There is no objectivity at play so you can’t put much stock in their conclusions.
Third, the new study went to great links to demonize propylene glycol, calling it “anti-freeze”. In reality, propylene glycol is an additive found in asthma inhalers, foods, and many cosmetics. The FDA has never taken issue with propylene glycol, yet ecig critics are latching on to this ingredient in a last ditch effort to find something negative to complain about with vaping.
Finally and most importantly, we have to keep all studies like this in perspective. Are electronic cigarettes 100 percent risk free? Probably not. Are ecigs a better choice than smoking cigarettes? Absolutely! You are eliminating tobacco, tar, and thousands of carcinogenic compounds from entering your lungs. While the ultimate goal is to be completely smoke-free, ecigs are a good first step.
Do you spot any other glaring problems in this new study?