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Study shows tobacco smoke is 1500 times more toxic than e-cig vapor

Public health officials often claim that more evidence is needed before they can definitely determine if vaping is a safer alternative to smoking.  The truth of the matter is that the scientific community has already conducted thousands of e-cig studies, each with astonishingly similar results.  While vaping may not be completely harm-free, it is up to 95% less harmful than combustible tobacco.

Traditional cigarettes are laced with hundreds of unneeded chemicals and additives intended to keep the smoker addicted long-term.  Meanwhile, the e-liquids of vaping devices are comprised of only four primary ingredients:  Propylene glycol, vegetable glycerin, flavoring, water, and sometimes nicotine.

This undeniable fact is the focus of a research study published in the Regulatory Toxicology and Pharmacology by co-authors Rana Tayyarah and Gerald Long of the Lorillard Tobacco Company in Greensboro, North Carolina.  Yes, a Big Tobacco conglomerate is publishing vaping science that actually supports vaping as a smoking cessation product.

Overview of the e-cig study

The scientists began by running tests on the vapor produced from three different brands of Blu e-cigs and two different options of SKYCigs.  They then tested the smoke produced from Marlboro Golds and Lambert & Butler combustible cigarettes using the same technologies.  As a basis for comparison, they also tested ordinary room air free of either e-cig vapor or cigarette smoke.  In each of the sample conditions, the research team measured for eight specific groups of toxins, including the following:

  • Carbon monoxide
  • Carbonyls
  • Phenolics
  • Volatiles
  • Trace metals
  • Tobacco-specific nitrosamines
  • Polyaromatic amines
  • Polyaromatic hydrocarbons.

What the scientists discovered is what vapers have already known for years.  The measurable levels of toxins from the combustible cigarette smoke were off the charts, while those of the e-cig vapor were essentially non-detectable.


In fact, the researchers had to produce 99 puffs of an e-cig before they could even detect the most miniscule amounts of the noxious substances.   Meanwhile, even a single puff of a conventional cigarette produced 30.6 milligrams of “harmful and potentially harmful constituents (HPHCs).” 

In a puff-to-puff comparison, tobacco smoke was 1500 times more toxic than e-cigs.  In fact, the toxicity levels of all five brands of e-cigs registered at the same levels as those of normal, everyday air. 

“The aerosol collected mass (ACM) of the e-cigarette samples was similar in composition to the e-liquids. Aerosol nicotine for the e-cigarette samples was 85% lower than nicotine yield for the conventional cigarettes. Analysis of the smoke from conventional cigarettes showed that the mainstream cigarette smoke delivered approximately 1500 times more harmful and potentially harmful constituents (HPHCs) tested when compared to e-cigarette aerosol or to puffing room air.“

Instead of the deadly toxins, the e-cig vapor contained only water, propylene glycol, small traces of flavoring, and of course, nicotine.  This study makes abundantly clear that vaping is significantly less harmful than smoking.

Yet lawmakers and public health officials refuse to validate the study’s scientific conclusions.   So, the next time that a vaping hater starts spouting off about the non-existent dangers of second hand vapor, quote this scientific study from Big Tobacco, no less.  It’s difficult for vaping critics to dispute cold, hard facts. 


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