The continuous battle on whether vaping indoors is safe or not has been challenged by a study lead by Fontem Ventures, a company that owns two e-cigarette brands, and executed by three research institutes: EMPA Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology, Kaunas University of Technology in Lithuania, and ETH Zurich the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology. This study on e-liquid vapor was presented at a conference dedicated to the research of indoor air quality in Barcelona, Spain. What is especially poignant about this particular study, is that it was the first of its kind, in examining how e-cigarette vapor reacts once exhaled into the environment. It opens new channels of discussion, and has the potential to play a huge role in how vapor is regarded.
The purpose of the study was to test the air quality when affected by vaping, to determine the level of risk bystanders and non-vapers face when exposed to exhaled vapor. What the study found was that the particles of e-liquid vapor, upon exhalation, dissipate in mere seconds, rendering an extremely low risk to those in proximity to vapor once it has been exhaled.
Furthermore, additional findings from this research show that air quality is not impacted in any negative manner once vapor has been exhaled. This was determined after the air quality of different rooms with and without ventilation systems were tested. One of the most important findings from this study is the amount of attention focused on testing the “second-hand vapor” theory. What was most significant about these results were that though exhaled vapor contains a highly concentrated amount of particulates immediately after exhalation, in just seconds the aerosoles dissipate to the same amount as background levels.
As discussed by Dr. Michael Siegel, a professor from the Boston University School of Public Health: “This means that the particulate matter does not accumulate, unlike tobacco smoke, which we know lingers in the air causing the concentration to build up over time. The importance of this is that a non-vaper’s exposure to the aerosol particles appears to be fleeting, lasting only a few seconds per puff of the vaper. This study adds to the evidence that vaping poses minimal risks to exposed bystanders.”
What this data inherently proves is that electronic cigarettes and tobacco products cannot be compared, as they are entirely different products, with exasperatingly different results and effects. This study shows how greatly different e-cig vapor and tobacco smoke are once exhaled, and makes a case for the many inherent differences between vapor and tobacco.