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E-Cig Vapor May Be Less Toxic Than Tobacco Smoke

But researcher says the devices should still be regulated

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"The study shows that regarding the most dangerous chemicals released by tobacco smoke, e-cigarette vapor contains none. Other chemicals it does contain are mostly a small fraction of those from cigarettes, and the metal compounds it releases are at levels unlikely to pose a risk," said Hajek, who studies tobacco risks.

"The conclusion should be that e-cig vapor is unlikely to pose any risk to bystanders. This tallies with other studies conducted so far," he noted.

Gregory Conley, president of the American Vaping Association, said the level of heavy metals and other chemicals in e-cigarette vapor is similar to that of inhalable products other than cigarettes, in particular the FDA-approved Nicorette Inhaler that's used to help people quit smoking.

In the big picture, he said, "this study, as well as hundreds of other studies, provide clear evidence that e-cigarettes are far, far less hazardous than smoking, likely in the range of 98 to 99 percent."

The study was published Aug. 22 in the online edition of the journal Environmental Science: Processes & Impacts.

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