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Back in 2015, the study Hidden Formaldehyde in E-Cigarette Aerosols made headlines. It was published on The New England Journal of Medicine, and as soon as it was released, it started a media frenzy causing irreparable damage by spreading misinformation. The idea that e-cigarettes are more harmful or cancerous than their combustible counterparts is still reverberating to this day.

Public health experts such as Clive Bates and Dr. Konstantinos Farsalinos, had spoken up against this flawed study and now after two and a half years Farsalinos replicated it.
“Extrapolating from the results at high voltage, an e-cigarette user vaping at a rate of 3 ml per day would inhale 14.4±3.3 mg of formaldehyde per day”, said the study author R. Paul Jensen B.S from Portland State University, whilst adding that the average delivery calculated via smoking is that of 3 mg per pack of 20 cigarettes.

Such inaccurate information has unfortunately been informing policies and stopping smokers from switching to the safer alternatives that could save their lives. Several public health experts such as Clive Bates and Dr. Konstantinos Farsalinos, had spoken up against this flawed study and finally two years and a half after it was published, despite the fact that most of the damage done cannot be reversed, Farsalinos is setting the record straight.

A Cardiologist at the Onassis Cardiac Surgery Center in Athens, Konstantinos Farsalinos is actively engaged in research on the safety and risks of electronic cigarettes. He replicated the study by Jensen, and his research titled,  E-cigarettes emit very high formaldehyde levels only in conditions that are aversive to users: A replication study under verified realistic use conditions, was published last week, on the journal Science Direct, Food and Chemical Toxicology.

Farsalinos and his team made it a point to use the same “old-generation e-cigarette working at 5.0 V” used in the study conducted by Jensen, together with the same equipment and e-liquid, in order to replicate the study.

Dry puffs in laboratory settings should be avoided

The study indicates that in realistic conditions, formaldehyde levels in e-cigarettes are lower than those found in cigarette smoke, and that alarming levels are only produced in “unrealistic (dry puff) conditions,” which are anyway avoided by vapers as they produce an undesirable taste. Hence said the study, replicating dry puffs in laboratory settings should be avoided.

“The high levels of formaldehyde emissions that were reported in a previous study were caused by unrealistic use conditions that create the unpleasant taste of dry puffs to e-cigarette users and are thus avoided.” Emissions Study, Dr. Konstantinos Farsalinos

“The high levels of formaldehyde emissions that were reported in a previous study were caused by unrealistic use conditions that create the unpleasant taste of dry puffs to e-cigarette users and are thus avoided.” concluded the study.