Electronic cigarettes, or “E-cigs,” have recently garnered a huge following. Many people have taken up the habit in an attempt to quit smoking tobacco or to be able to smoke inside as it doesn’t produce clouds of smoke. Most electronic cigarettes contain propylene glycol, glycerin, nicotine, and flavorings but while electronic cigarettes are not regulated some might contain more. The liquid nicotine is heated with an atomizer and creates an aerosol, also referred to as vapor. The user then inhales the vapor and receives trace amounts of nicotine. While research on the subject is relatively low because how new the product is, researchers have found ill effects stemming from electronic cigarettes. Just as if tobacco was smoked indoors, electronic cigarettes can also contribute to indoor air pollution. A recent study showed that electronic cigarettes contain a surprisingly high concentration of formaldehyde, which is a known carcinogen. David Peyton, a chemistry professor from our own Portland State University understates “I think this is just one more piece of evidence amid a number of pieces of evidence that e-cigarettes are not absolutely safe.” The study found that the liquid in electronic cigarettes, when heated at high temperatures, may actually produce more formaldehyde that traditional tobacco. Concordantly, second hand vapor from electronic cigarettes can also be harmful especially in infants and children. The best thing you can do to prevent this is to quit, but if you decide not to remain smoking electronic cigarettes outside as you would a traditional cigarette.
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