Do E Cigarettes Affect Indoor Air Quality?
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Tobacco cigarettes are known for their pungent smell, thick clouds of smoke and the lingering odour they leave behind. E cigarettes have none of these negative associations, and the vapour that is released is minimal and doesn’t hold much of an odour. Even the varying flavours of e cig cartridges don’t make much difference, and at most you may notice a slightly sweet smell.
In an effort to prove that vapers were not harming those around them and that the air quality wasn’t affected, researchers decided to study the differences between smoke and vapour in an enclosed environment. One of the first studies took place in 2012 and laid the groundwork for other research that followed.
Determining the Impact
Uncertainties about the effect that e cigarettes had on air quality led to them being banned in many places, and in an effort to ascertain their impact, a study that compared tobacco and electronic devices was initiated. The objective was to determine the potential health impact and to see whether e cigarettes had any effect on those in the immediate vicinity who were not vapers.
Experiments that Prove a Point
In testing the impact that e cigarettes had on air quality, different e cig cartridges with varying degrees of nicotine strength were used in a controlled environment. Emissions were collected and air concentrations assessed for by-products of vaping. The same tests were then conducted using tobacco cigarettes and the results compared.
The results of this experiment proved that difference between the pollutants emitted by the e cig cartridges and the vapour they form and the pollutants from tobacco cigarettes were extensive. E cigarettes posed no significant risk to others in the same environment and had a minimal, barely detectable influence on air quality, whilst tobacco cigarettes caused significant risks and the air quality degraded badly. The tobacco smoke raised flags and approached risk limits for both adults and children, whilst the e cigs posed no risks to either age group.
A Step in the Right Direction
This study proved conclusively that e cigarettes did not pose a risk to air quality and that using them in a confined environment did not affect others in the vicinity. Although regulations banning these devices in public places continue to be enforced, it's hoped that with further studies and by spreading the correct information vaping will be more readily allowed.