Vapers using low rather than high nicotine e-cigarettes may be using their devices more intensely, potentially increasing the risk of exposure to toxins in the vapour, according to new research funded by Cancer Research UK and published in Addiction today.*
Researchers, based at London South Bank University, studied 20 e-cigarette users and found that people using low nicotine e-liquid in their devices puffed more deeply and more often than those using high nicotine liquid. Those using low nicotine also increased the power of their vaping devices when possible.
Despite this ‘compensatory’ behaviour, the low nicotine vapers were unable to get as much nicotine as the high nicotine group. But in their quest to do so their puffing behaviour may have increased their exposure to toxins such as formaldehyde, a chemical formed when the e-cigarette liquid is heated.
While there can be toxic chemicals present in vapour, they are far fewer and generally at lower concentrations than in tobacco smoke. Evidence so far still shows both high and low nicotine e-cigarettes are far less harmful than smoking.
Vaping more intensely and at higher power raises the temperature inside the device which can cause the glycerine and glycol found in most
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