An e-cigarette operated at lower voltage generated only traces of certain toxic chemicals but at a higher voltage the levels of toxic chemicals increase significantly. The study was published on-line in Nicotine and Tobacco Research and commentators have said that the results suggest that some types of e-cigarettes might expose their users to the same or even higher levels of carcinogenic formaldehyde than tobacco smoke.
Those who use high voltage e-cigarettes need to be aware of the increased risks.
With some e-cigarettes the user can change the voltage to increase vapour production and nicotine delivery. The researchers who conducted the study examined the chemicals generated at different voltages and found that when an e-cigarette was operated at a higher voltage, toxic chemicals increased. These include formaldehyde, acetaldehyde a possible carcinogen, acrolein and acetone two substances known to irritate nasal and lung tissue.
Speaking about the study’s results Liam Moloney Solicitor of Naas Co Kildare said today “anyone using e-cigarettes should be aware that they may produce higher levels of toxic chemicals than tobacco smoke and that by using e-cigarettes there is a significant risk of injury”.