Studying E-cigarettes

February 22 2016

There has always existed the claim that there is a lack of information regarding e-cigarettes and that more studies need to be done in order to ensure the safety of these devices. So far, there have been multiple studies done and many point out that vaping is safer than smoking. Those who have claimed that it is just as dangerous as smoking has used unrealistic concentration of vape for their experiment and despite that, smoking still proved to be more dangerous. Now more studies are being carried out on the e-cigarette flavorings with the goal of determining whether these are safe or not.
Susan Murad on EurekAlert! (American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)) has written an article on this which states that “Faculty and student researchers at Rochester Institute of Technology’s National Technical Institute for the Deaf (RIT/NTID) are developing methods to better analyze the effects of flavorings used in electronic cigarettes (e-cigs).
In partnership with RIT’s Kate Gleason College of Engineering and the University of Rochester Medical Center, RIT/NTID, the world’s first and largest technological college for deaf and hard-of-hearing students, is part of the team that has received a $329,000 grant from the National Institutes of Health to study the safety of e-cigs with flavorings.
E-cigs are increasing in popularity with both youth and adults, and a variety of flavorings often are present in these products. The presence of these flavorings may create health concerns to users and those around them due to lack of knowledge about their chemical make-up as they are being ingested and exhaled.

Studying E-cigarettes

Todd Pagano, associate professor and associate dean for Teaching and Scholarship Excellence, leads the NTID portion of the project along with a team of deaf and hard-of-hearing student researchers. Risa Robinson, professor and department head in Mechanical Engineering and director of the Respiratory Technologies Laboratory in RIT’s Kate Gleason College of Engineering, is the principal investigator on the RIT portion of the grant. The study is part of a larger project led by principal investigator Irfan Rahman of the University of Rochester Medical Center, whose aim is to examine the DNA damage and inflammatory responses of cells exposed to e-cigs.
“E-cigs, with their flavorings, are not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration and there is a deficiency in information on their possible impact on public health,” Pagano said. “Analyzing the potential toxicants produced by these flavorings will help increase the understanding of possible harmful effects of e-cig emissions.”
The project, “Emission aerosol constituents and comparative toxicology of electronic cigarettes with flavorings,” will determine the chemicals present in e-cigs emissions through the use of gas chromatography-mass spectrometry or GC-MS, a type of instrumentation present in many laboratory settings.
“The GC-MS provides analysis of the chemicals present in the e-cig liquid, and we are able to then measure the realistic exposure from produced constituents as they become emissions after vaping,” Pagano said. ‘We’re looking to determine what compounds are present before and after vaping, and which might be potentially harmful.'” (Susan Murad)
Hopefully this time they will actually undertake realistic experiments as they claim to give the public accurate information of the effects of vaping. It may be true that more information is needed about e-cigarettes to determine to determine the safety of these devices. However, it needs to be noted that they are still less dangerous than smoking. E-cigarette industries do not market their devices are being as safe as the air that we breathe and that is the reason that these devices are not to be sold to minors. These devices were developed mainly for smokers to use as an alternative to smoking. Using a less dangerous device would been improved public health for not only smokers but also for those around smokers who are exposed to second hand smoking. Though research is good, they need to be done in a correct manner using realistic examples to show accurate information about these devices.