A new study presented at the 4th Workplace and Indoor Aerosols conference in Barcelona on Monday has shown for the first time that exhaled e-cigarette particles are liquid droplets that evaporate within seconds.  

The collaborative research undertaken by a number of laboratories and research organisations across Europe is the first comprehensive study of its kind to fully document and investigate the particles present in the exhalation of vapour from an electronic cigarette.

Speaking from the conference, Professor Dainius Martuzevicius, Vice Dean for Research at the Faculty of Chemical Technology, Kaunas University of Technology and leading expert on indoor air quality, said: "There is little data available on the properties of exhaled e-cigarette 'particles' in the scientific literature and as a result there is a growing discussion amongst the public health community as to whether the 'particles' exhaled following use of vaping products have potential implications for indoor air quality."

The study utilised commercially available closed system e-cigarettes and regular vapers as researchers measured particles in the surrounding air when vapour was produced. They found that immediately after exhalation, a “rapid decay” and “evaporation” of liquid vapour occurred, with the air returning to base level within seconds.

This was even the case when the same test was performed under “worst case” conditions – a room with no ventilation.

Dr. Grant O'Connell said "This study shows that e-cigarettes - similar to other consumer aerosol-based products - release liquid primary particles into the air that disappear extremely quickly."

"But importantly, this also tells us how fundamentally different exhaled e-cigarette particles are compared to those emitted by smoking conventional cigarettes, the latter of which are reported to linger in the air for long periods of time. By contrast, no accumulation of particles was registered in the room following e-cigarette use."  

These findings further support previous conclusions drawn by Public Health England who found E-Cigarettes to be at least 95% safer than tobacco. Furthermore, the Chartered Institute for Environmental Health, Cancer Research UK all have shown evidence that vaping indoors is unlikely to pose an air quality issue to bystanders and non-vapers. 

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