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E-Liquid Vapour: Is It As Harmless As Human Breath?


The critics of e-liquids are by far one of the most aggressive and passionate bunch of detractors that you can find anywhere in the world. It seems as though they will not stop till they convince everybody in America and abroad that vaping is more harmful than smoking. Without trying to understand their intentions or motivations, we can safely assume that the critics are not likely to reach their goals anytime soon, given the fact that the e-liquid market is growing exponentially. They can spew as much hatred and contempt that they want on e-liquids and e-cigarettes, but it will not change the fact that consumers are becoming more receptive to the idea of using vape products instead conventional smoking products. As a part of the vaping community, we would like to make no associations between vaping and smoking. However, we can’t really resist saying that vaping is the new smoking. The difference being that vaping is the much healthier and safer option here. Talking about safety and health, there have been speculations about toxins being discovered in e-liquid vapour. Is there any truth to that statement? The only way to find out is through a thorough analysis.

Word Health Organization’s Statement on E-Liquid Vapour

You will always come across news about research that “proves” that e-liquid vapour is harmful. Hence, when the critics were calling for regulation based on a “scientific report” which suggested that e-liquid vapour is full of toxins, we knew right away that this case required a little bit more dissection and explanation to say the least. This case is quite different from the others because it involves the World Health Organization. According to the statement that they have released, nations should consider banning the indoor vaping e-liquids as a safety measure because of the “some of the chemical substances in the e-liquid may be harmful”. What is really interesting here is that the organization which is deemed as the authority in health expertise used the phrase “may be harmful” to justify a ban. That leaves a lot of questions marks over the accuracy of the research work carried out by the WHO.

The Human Breath Comparison

We would like you to look at the presence of toxins in e-liquid vapour from a completely different perspective. In fact, our focus today would be to draw a comparison between human breath and e-liquid vapour in order to find out whether the level of toxins or potentially harmful chemical substances in e-liquids is high enough to warrant any legitimate health concerns. Many of the potentially harmful chemical substances that have been pointed out by the WHO are actually present in human breath. This means that these substances are naturally produced by the human body when air is exhaled through the lungs in our respiratory system. This gives the vaping community the license to cast a shadow of doubt over the legitimacy of some of the tests and studies conducted by the WHO.

The Lawmakers’ Agenda

Why are studies such as these given so much attention in the media? Well, the answer is simple. Lawmakers bring up these studies to satisfy their own agenda against vaping. By analysing figures derived from actual research work, several medical professionals have testified that only trace amounts of toxins can be found in second hand vapour and the level of toxicity is not high enough to do any damage to the bystanders. The lawmakers are playing the air quality angle here. They are justifying their ban of electronic cigarettes by saying that they want to improve the air quality indoors and outdoors. But this makes no sense given the fact that toxins such as acetone, acetaldehyde, formaldehyde, butanone and isoprene are all being released by human beings during exhalation.

In Depth Analysis

Sceptics are usually not convinced by the human breath comparison argument. In an attempt to change their minds, let’s dig further into this issue. According to the electronic cigarette study, second hand vapour exposes bystanders to 5 ppb of acetaldehyde. In comparison, human breath can contain 3-7 ppb of acetaldehyde. Both figures are pretty close. Even if you take the lower bound into account when doing the math and assume that second hand e-liquid vapour produces 2 ppb of acetaldehyde more than human breath, it still does not explain how e-liquid vapour is potentially harmful. This is because the EPA has categorized environments that have up to 32 ppb of acetaldehyde to be ambivalent. If you take a look at acetone, the studies show that e-liquid vapour produces about 2 ppb of acetone while human beings can produce anywhere between 650 and 1900 ppb of acetone.

This is evidence enough to believe that e-liquid vapour cannot be more harmful than human breath.