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Study shows nicotine exposure from secondhand e-cigarette vapor (Nicotine & Tobacco Research, Roswell Park Cancer Institute)

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In the December 11, 2013 issue of the journal Nicotine & Tobacco Research, Roswell Park Cancer Institute released their study on secondhand vapor smoke entitled, Secondhand Exposure to Vapors from Electronic Cigarettes. The “results showed that e-cigarettes emitted significant amounts of nicotine.” The researchers share that this raises health concerns about a nonuser’s exposure to secondhand vapor smoke. The researchers conclude that their study can “guide policymakers as decisions are made about the regulation of nicotine delivery devices. Study observations also include:

  • This study focused on nicotine and a limited number of chemicals released from e-cigarettes. Future research should explore emissions and exposures to other toxins and compounds identified in e-cigarettes such as formaldehyde, acetaldehyde and acrolein.
  • Data also are needed to determine whether secondhand exposure to e-cigarette vapors results in reinforcement of nicotine addiction.
  • More research is needed to investigate whether the vapor from e-cigarettes is deposited on surfaces to form ‘thirdhand’ e-cigarette vapor.
  • “Our data suggest that secondhand exposure to nicotine from e-cigarettes is on average 10 times less than from tobacco smoke. However, more research is needed to evaluate the health consequences of secondhand exposure to nicotine from e-cigarettes, especially among vulnerable populations including children, pregnant women and people with cardiovascular conditions.”
  • “Questions remain regarding the health impact of e-cigarettes among smokers and nonsmokers. It remains unclear whether young people will see e-cigarette use as a social norm and if e-cigarettes will be used as sources of nicotine in places with smoking bans, thus circumventing tobacco-free laws,” said Andrew Hyland, PhD, Chair of the Department of Health Behavior at RPCI.
  • “This study and others can guide policymakers as decisions are made about the regulation of the nicotine delivery devices.”

Roswell Park’s research partners include the Medical University of Silesia in Sosnoewiec, Poland; and the Department of Chemical Hazards / Institute of Occupational and Environmental Health in Sosnowiec, Poland.

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