Electronic cigarette advocates are disputing the findings of a new study released this week in the New England Journal of Medicine about the risks of the smoking alternative.
Those advocates say they blame over-simplified news reports and misleading headlines, not to mention questionable research conclusions, for creating what they call more confusion, rather than clarity. At issue: Potential exposure to formaldehyde in some e-cigs.
By some estimates, more than 2 million Americans are now vaping. But with so little still known about the potential health consequences of electronic cigarettes, a new report gained a lot of attention this week, claiming that vapor contains formaldehyde. Shreveport vaping store owner Kayla Kates-Duay told us: “When they’re saying high-powered they’re not saying traditional e-cigarettes. I think that they were misleading the story a little bit.”
Electronic cigarette advocates like Duay take aim at what they call overly-generalized news reports that use a broad brush to paint all e-cigs as potentially releasing formaldehyde. It turns out, that study published by the New England Journal of Medicine says devices that used less than 5-volts turn the e-cigarette liquid into vapor showed no presence of formaldehyde.
Appearing on CBS This Morning Thursday, CBS News Consultant Dr. Holly Phillips explained, “When you heated the vapor up at 5-volts, there was a lot of formaldehyde, in fact 2-and-a- half times the amount of formaldehyde that you would get if you smoke a regular cigarette.”
We’re told that e-cigs that use 5-volts or more turn out to be only about 20-percent of what’s sold here at Duay’s business, Tiger Vapes in Shreveport. She also questioned the methods and conclusions of that new study.
“It’s from one study off of one product, when I have studies that show 16-different products with 50-percent less than a traditional cigarette has in it,” added Duay.
Duay describes this latest report about the fears of formaldehyde as just the latest in a series of negative stories about vaping rather than the good it has done. “This has helped numerous people quit smoking traditional cigarettes, beat the habit, the habit that’s been around for years.”
Here’s the bottom line: Regular cigarettes contain 4-thousand chemicals that smokers inhale. At least 60 of those cause cancer. At the very least, electronic cigarettes are seen as the lesser of two evils by many. But, it could be another decade before we know more about the long-term health consequences from e-cigs.