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Scientific study on the consequences of passive vaping by a tobacco manufacturer

Some results limited to the electronic cigarette brand MarkTen

A new scientific study [1] published in late November in the Journal of occupational and environmental hygiene provides solid evidence that passive vaping is at low risk for health, at least when vaping on the electronic cigarettes MarkTen that were used in this study.

The research team from Altria, carried out some studies aiming at determining indoor air concentrations of nicotine, menthol, propylene glycol, glycerol, formaldehyde, and total particulates during experimental vaping sessions producing 36 to 216 puffs in one hour. The two e-cigarette models used by the study were menthol and non-menthol MarkTen® prototypes. The MarkTen is a “cigalike” tubular vaporizer composed of a battery and of a sealed cartridge containing e-liquid. The results indicate that, except for formaldehyde that was detected “at consistent levels during all sampling periods”, the other chemicals and particles remained under quantifiable or at background levels.

Reproducing conditions similar to the use of e-cigarettes in public spaces, John Maloney and his team assess that the use of MarkTen cigarettes do not produce amounts of propylene glycol, glycerine, menthol or particles above detectable levels. With regard to formaldehyde, it was also present in the background air, meaning before the experiment took place.

In his analysis of this study, Michael Siegel, recalls people not to generalize the message to the use of other brands of e-cigarettes and that some other devices should be experimented in similar conditions.

However, this demonstrates that Altria, a tobacco company, succedeed in elaborating a personal vaporizer that poses almost no risk of passive vaping. The absence of secondhand vaping is also mentioned by Michael Siegel who assesses the benefit for use in enclosed spaces, compared to tobacco cigarettes. He notices that no scientific proof is given, to date, to demonstrate the danger associated to passive vaping in public spaces.

[1] Maloney, J. C., Thompson, M. K., Oldham, M. J., Stiff, C. L., Lilly, P. D., Patskan, G. J., … & Sarkar, M. A. (2015). Insights from Two Industrial Hygiene Pilot E-Cigarette Passive Vaping Studies. Journal of occupational and environmental hygiene, 1-32. – DOI:10.1080/15459624.2015.1116693