Scientists from the Roswell Cancer Park Institute in Buffalo, NY, have announced the findings of two studies respectively looking at evidence on "thirdhand" exposure to nicotine from e-cigarettes and the accuracy of e-cigarette product labels.
Scientists from the Roswell Cancer Park Institute in Buffalo, NY, have
announced the findings of two studies respectively looking at evidence on
"thirdhand" exposure to nicotine from e-cigarettes and the accuracy of
e-cigarette product labels.
Sales of e-cigarettes ("electronic cigarettes") - where nicotine and other
cigarette-associated substances are inhaled in a vapor through a
battery-operated device - have doubled each year since 2008 in the US.
E-cigarettes are not currently regulated by the US Food and Drug
Over the past couple of years, various studies have analyzed to what extent
e-cigarettes may or may not be harmful to both the smoker and other people.
Medical News Today reported on a 2012 study finding that, although
e-cigarettes contribute less to indoor air pollution than traditional
tobacco cigarettes, they are "not entirely emission-free," and so bystanders
may be exposed to the released vapor.
That study also criticized the labeling of e-cigarettes, commenting that the
inadequate or vague information on the content of the products made it
difficult for smokers to know the potential dangers of the contained
E-cigarettes and thirdhand smoke risk Examining the issue of bystanders'
exposure to nicotine from e-cigarettes, the Roswell Park Cancer Institute
(RCPI) researchers studied the extent to which e-cigarettes left a nicotine
residue on indoor surfaces. This residue is often referred to as "thirdhand
To do this, the scientists vaporized the contents of three different brands
of e-cigarette inside a special chamber. The floors, walls, windows, wood
and metal surfaces of the chamber were then individually checked for
In three out of four of these experiments, the researchers found varying but
significant increases in nicotine residue, with the floor and windows of the
chamber retaining the highest amounts of residue.
How accurate is the product labeling of e-cigarettes? The second study from
the RCPI team assessed how accurate the product labeling of e-cigarettes is.
The researchers analyzed the contents of 32 e-cigarette refill solutions and
compared their findings with the claims made by the product manufacturers in
their labeling information.
e-cigarettes and refill packs
In e-cigarettes, nicotine and other substances are inhaled in a vapor
through a battery-operated device.
They found that the nicotine concentration of 1 in 4 products differed by
more than 20% from what the amounts advertised on their labels. Nicotine was
also found in some refill solutions that were labeled as being
"Research conducted by Roswell Park scientists provides a valuable
contribution and insight into the content and marketing of e-cigarettes,"
says Andrew Hyland, PhD, chair of RPCI's Department of Health Behavior.
"This science can inform health policy organizations as they determine
e-cigarette regulations, which can and should include smoke-free policies
and standards for accurate labeling," he adds.
"The public health community agrees that more scientific inquiry is needed
to understand the potential health impact of e-cigarettes," adds Dr. Maciej
Goniewicz, who presented the findings of both studies at the annual meeting
of the Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco on February 8th, 2014.
Dr. Goniewicz adds:
"These studies add to the growing body of scientific evidence that will help
to define and delineate a product that is broadly used indoors and is
advertised and sold without restrictions."