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Vaping’s toxic vapors come mainly from e-liquid solvents

With age, heat, e-cigs emit more toxicants

By
8:00am, July 27, 2016
person vaping

VAPOR VIEW  The vapor from an e-cig can contain substantial amounts of toxic gases, a new study finds. And much of those toxicants trace to the solvent used to carry flavorings and any nicotine through the device.

Over the last three years, growing evidence has shown that electronic cigarettes are not the harmless alternative to smoking that many proponents have argued. Now, a new study traces a large share of e-cigs’ toxic gases to a heat-triggered breakdown of the liquids used to create the vapors. And the hotter an e-cig gets — and the more it’s used — the more toxic compounds it emits, the study shows.

“There is this image that e-cigarettes are a lot better than regular cigarettes, if not harmless,” says Hugo Destaillats, a chemist at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in California. But after his team’s new analyses, published July 27 in Environmental Science & Technology, “we are now definitely convinced that they are far from harmless.

Electronic cigarettes draw liquids over one or more hot metal coils to transform them into vapors. Those

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