E-cig­a­rettes are just as harm­ful

The Star Early Edition - - LETTERS -

LON­DON: E-cig­a­rettes emit toxic vapours which break safety guide­lines when used in­doors, re­search sug­gests. Non-va­p­ing cus­tomers in pubs can be ex­posed to un­healthy lev­els of formalde­hyde, which causes can­cer and acrolein – a toxin that ir­ri­tates the eyes and skin.

That is the find­ing of a study based on as few as three peo­ple an hour us­ing the de­vices in a bar. The dan­gers of pas­sive smok­ing led to the 2007 smok­ing ban in the UK.

There is no sim­i­lar law for va­p­ing, al­though some pub chains have vol­un­tar­ily banned elec­tronic cig­a­rettes.

Last year, the World Health Or­gan­i­sa­tion called on Bri­tain to con­sider a to­tal ban in pub­lic spa­ces due to the risk from “sec­ond-hand vapour”.

Re­searchers led by Berke­ley Univer­sity in California found toxic chem­i­cals re­leased into bars ex­ceeded their state’s guide­line safety-lev­els.

The study states: “E-cig­a­rettes likely rep­re­sent a lower risk to health than tra­di­tional com­bus­tion cig­a­rettes, but they are not in­nocu­ous.”

Fol­low­ing a sim­i­lar study last year, co-au­thor Dr Hugo Des­tail­lats, from Berke­ley, said: “Reg­u­lar cig­a­rettes are su­per un­healthy. E-cig­a­rettes are just as un­healthy.”

While e-cig­a­rettes don’t pro­duce toxic tobacco smoke, which causes lung can­cer, they gen­er­ate other com­pounds that are po­ten­tially dan­ger­ous to hu­man health.

Formalde­hyde in­take from just 100 daily puffs of one of th­ese de­vices is higher than the amount in­haled by a smoker of 10 con­ven­tional cig­a­rettes a day. The chem­i­cal, used to em­balm dead bod­ies, has been sug­gested to raise the risk of leukaemia and brain can­cer in peo­ple – such as fu­neral di­rec­tors – who work with it reg­u­larly.

Formalde­hyde, along with acrolein, is pro­duced when the main in­gre­di­ents of elec­tronic cig­a­rettes, propy­lene, gly­col and glyc­erin, are heated. The per­son va­p­ing is ex­posed, but they also en­dan­ger others when ex­hal­ing the vapour into the en­vi­ron­ment.

The study au­thors cal­cu­lated lev­els of this vapour based on the find­ings of pre­vi­ous stud­ies on va­p­ing in bars. They took into ac­count in­door air vol­umes and the num­ber of hourly users, which ranged from just over three to 13. – Daily Mail

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