The anti-vaping crowd thought they had found the damning piece of evidence that vaping was bad for health. A study published in August 2018, argued that e-cigarette vapour contained fine particulate matter. If this were true, both first and second-hand vapour could be damaging to health.
To prove their hypothetical claim, researchers measured the amount of fine particles in the air near a vape shop. They also studied fabrics that were present in the shop. The theory held that random shoppers touching and manipulating these fabrics could expose them to toxic risks.
In came Doctor Robert Sussman, who saw through the charade and alarmist conclusions. This physics researcher with the University of Mexico has pointed out more than a few errors in the conclusions of the study.
Danger of e-cig vapour: unfounded conclusions
According to the study, fine particles in vapour are held to be just as dangerous as those in cigarette smoke. Yet, Doctor Sussman does not agree with this claim. Particles produced by vaping devices are vaporized from a liquid, and are not emitted by combustion of solid matter. While they may be numerous, their chemical composition remains completely different.
Another point raised by Sussman concerns accidental ingestion of toxic elements in vaping products. Placing a cottin napkin in a room where vaping takes place was enough to measure high concentrations of nicotine in the fabric. Researchers concluded that vaping carried the risk of intoxication, particularly for children.
And yet once again, Doctor Sussman did the math and came to the conclusion that the research results were simply not factual. The risk of ingesting e-liquid, via fabrics tainted by e-cig vapour, turned out to be 430 times less probable than stated. Considering that fabric is always in motion in a household, and that particles are volatile, the risk is further reduced.
Finally, the study determined that a large cloud of vapour necessarily meant a large concentration of nicotine in the air. This simply doesn’t make sense, as when a vaper takes a large hit from a vaping device, most of the nicotine ends up in the vaper’s lungs.
According to Sussman, second-hand vaping is not as dangerous as the study claims. And furthermore, given all tests were conducted in closed environments with no wind conditions, the results are even more skewed. A more realistic experiment, in an open area, would be reveal more.