Japan’s Health Ministry recently funded a study that revealed e-cigarettes contain as much as 10 times more carcinogens than regular tobacco.
The globally hot alternative to smoking has taken a good number of hits from similar studies over the past couple of years, with supporters claiming these negative reports to be ploys of the tobacco and cigarette industry to eliminate competition. The latest blow comes from the findings of a group of researchers from the National Institute of Public Health.
The researchers, headed by Naoki Kunugita, discovered a number of cancer-causing compounds in several types of e-cigarette liquid, including formaldehyde and acetaldehyde. Formaldehyde, was even noted to be present at much higher concentrations in e-cigarette liquid compared to the amount of other carcinogens found in regular cigarette smoke. Kunugita adds, the chemicals in the fluid are emitted in higher concentrations after the device’s wire vaporizes them.
The researchers examined several types of e-cigarette fluid with a machine that “inhaled” the equivalent of 10 sets of 15 puffs from an e-cigarette. An undisclosed brand of fluid was discovered to contain over 10 times the amount of formaldehyde in 9 out of every 10 sets. Another brand of fluid showed slightly lower concentrations of the substance. These findings led Kunugita and his fellow researchers to conclude e-cigarettes are not as “safe” and risk-free as most people believe them to be, and that these devices also have a tendency to be used as a gateway to smoking real cigarettes, especially among the youth.
Japan is in union with many legislations worldwide on the non-regulation and approval of non-nicotine e-cigarettes. However, many individuals can still easily get a hold of regulated nicotine e-cigarettes or Electronic Nicotine Delivery System (ENDS) online. Kunugita emphasizes that while e-cigarettes and regular cigarettes may be sought or avoided by the public for the same purposes, they should be viewed by scientific research and health agencies as being completely separate products with distinct health risks. According to the ministry official, it us up to the government to pass evidence-based rulings on e-cigarette regulation and use independently of regular cigarettes.