A new study published in Regulatory Toxicology and Pharmacology, has shown the levels of the carcinogen formaldehyde produced by e-cigarettes to be significantly lower than the levels found in tobacco cigarettes.

The results directly contradict a much publicised letter published in the New England Journal of Medicine, which claimed e-cigarettes may expose vapers to dangerous levels of the chemical. However as we previously reported this study has received huge criticism from experts and campaigners, with this new study conclusively demonstrating the main falsehoods and misrepresentations that gained much attention. 

The study conducted at Enthalpy Analytical in North Carolina, tested five different types of e-cigarettes from smaller devices like the Gamucci Micro, to larger devices. They found that the largest of the devices when turned up to the highest power level produced levels of formaldehyde of less than one milligram each per day, whilst the level of formaldehyde emitted by the three smaller e-cigs, like the Gamucci Vitesse or Micro, was far lower than the 5.3 mg exposure the Occupational Safety and Health Administration deems acceptable in the workplace. For comparison a pack of cigarettes exposes a smoker to 1.5-2.5 mg of formaldehyde.

In response to the letter published in the New England Journal of Medicine, this study concluded that for an e-cigarette to produce anything close to a hazardous level of formaldehyde it would require an electronic cigarette user to use an e-cigarette at an unrealistically high power – delivering what is referred to as a “dry puff.”

Kurt Kistler, a chemistry professor at Pennsylvania State University and co-author of the study, told VICE Motherboard that using an electronic cigarette at the power required for even small amounts of the chemical to be produced would cause a vaper discomfort and consequently immediate knowledge something was wrong.

“It burns the nose. It burns the throat. It’s very, very unpleasant. No vaper is going to just sit there and inhale that. It kind of forces the vaper to just shut it off entirely,” 

These results are in line with the results of a number of other pieces of e-cigarette research, with the main conclusion being that for a device to produce formaldehyde levels higher than a tobacco cigarette it would have to be used as such a high power level that no vaper could actually use it!

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