Mixed results for heavy metal emissions from e-cigarettes

E-cigarette vaping device

Electronic cigarettes are generally considered safer than conventional tobacco cigarettes. Much research has focused on e-cigarette gas-phase emissions, but less is known about particulate matter in the exhaled vapour.

New data reported in Environmental Science, Processes and Impacts (online, 22 August 2014)[1]
suggest that e-cigarettes are associated with a “remarkable” 10-fold reduction in overall emission of metals and organic compounds compared with conventional cigarettes.

However, emission of two toxic heavy metals – chromium and nickel – was significantly higher with e-cigarettes than with normal cigarettes. Several other toxic metals, including lead and zinc, were also present in e-cigarette vapour.

“The metal particles likely come from the cartridge of the e-cigarette devices themselves,” remark Arian Saffaria from the University of Southern California, Los Angeles, and co-authors.





[1] Saffari A, Daher N. Ruprecht AA, et al. Particulate Metals and Organic Compounds from Electronic and Tobacco-containing Cigarettes: Comparison of Emission Rates and Secondhand Exposure. Environmental Science, Processes and Impacts. Available from: doi: 10.1039/C4EM00415A

Last updated
The Pharmaceutical Journal, PJ, 13 September 2014, Vol 293, No 7827;293(7827):DOI:10.1211/PJ.2014.20066317

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