Researchers Surprised by Quality of Eliquid, Say Eliquid Much Safer Than Smoking

11 great comments - add yours!
by: James Dunworth

Bottle of Smoker's Angel Eliquid.

We don’t know what’s in e-cigarettes.

That’s what we’ve been told by legislators and anti-nicotine campaigners seeking to ban electronic cigarettes, although it contradicts Professor Siegel’s assertion that actually scientists know exactly what is in eliquid, but are still unsure about what’s in tobacco smoke, with hundreds of chemicals yet to be identified.

Now a new study found that the “the quality of refill liquids for electronic cigarettes is surprisingly good.”

Professor J F Etter, who has a fairly neutral stance on electronic cigarettes, along with Eva ZÄTHER and Sofie SVENSSON, analysed 20 bottles of eliquid, focussing on nicotine content and impurities

They found that half of the bottles tested were of medicinal standard.

Other bottles tested contained more impurities than medicinal nicotine solutions, but Professor Etter concluded:

If they are compared with tobacco, not with nicotine medications, the presence of impurities in e-liquids is less relevant, because even if e-liquids contained the level of impurities found in this study, ‘vaping’ (using e-cigarettes) would still be much less dangerous than smoking.

The full study can be purchased here.

The full text of the press release follows (unfortunately, I have no link to the press release as this was sent to me by email):

New research finds that the quality of refill liquids for electronic cigarettes is surprisingly good

Sales of electronic cigarettes have tripled in the U.S. every year since 2007. Financial analysts attribute some of the recent decrease in cigarette sales in the U.S. to the success of e-cigarettes, and some of them think that sales of e-cigarettes will surpass sales of tobacco cigarettes in the next decade.  However, relatively little is known about refill liquids for electronic cigarettes (e-liquids). ln a study published online by the scientific journal Addiction, researchers from the University of Geneva (Switzerland) and from McNeil (Helsingborg, Sweden), a manufacturer of nicotine medications, analyzed some of the most popular brands of e-liquids, purchased on the Internet. The researchers analyzed nicotine content and nicotine-related degradation products and impurities (but not the other components in e-liquids). They found that half of the 20 bottles of e-liquids that they analyzed were acceptable as medicinal products. The other half contained up to five times the maximum amount of impurities specified for nicotine medications. Contrary to previous research, they also found that the nicotine content in the bottles corresponded to the labels on the bottles. Professor Jean-François Etter, one of the authors, said: “The quality of some brands was surprisingly good. However, for some brands of e-liquids at least, the manufacturing process or control systems are probably below required standards for nicotine medications”. Electronic cigarettes are a new galenic formulation developed to administer a range of substances, but they are not currently regulated as medicinal products in any country. Rather, they are regulated as tobacco products or consumer products. If they are compared with tobacco, not with nicotine medications, the presence of impurities in e-liquids is less relevant, because even if e-liquids contained the level of impurities found in this study, ‘vaping’ (using e-cigarettes) would still be much less dangerous than smoking. The success of electronic cigarettes challenges the current legislation, which allows nicotine only in tobacco and in nicotine medications.

The scientific article:

Jean-François ETTER, Eva ZÄTHER and Sofie SVENSSON. “Analysis of refill liquids for electronic cigarettes”. Addiction, 2013, 108: DOI: 10.1111/add.12235

Link to the article: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/add.12235/pdf

Contact:

Professor Jean-François ETTER, Faculty of Medicine, University of Geneva, IMSP-CMU, 1211 Geneva 4, Switzerland.

Tel +41 22 379 04 59 (office) and +41 76 348 57 86 (mobile).
E-mail: Jean-Francois.Etter@unige.ch

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11 Responses to “Researchers Surprised by Quality of Eliquid, Say Eliquid Much Safer Than Smoking”

  1. albert May 24, 2013 at 9:48 am #

    “Other bottles tested contained more impurities than tobacco, but Professor Etter concluded:”
    Is this a mistake or misinterpretation?

    • James Dunworth May 24, 2013 at 9:50 am #

      A typo – thanks for pointing it out, Albert, now corrected!

  2. James May 25, 2013 at 7:09 am #

    Instead of worrying about “gateway-ness”, “dual use”, and “denormalisation”, they should be more concerned with making sure all e-liquid suppliers are making their liquids to fit this study’s examples.

    Great study. Well done.

  3. E. Schmidt June 2, 2013 at 1:36 pm #

    I do not know about OTHER ejuice companies . I can honestly say in MY ejuices ,If You were to test them You will ONLY find FOOD Grade Flavorings(LoRann & Capella most US bakeries use these) ONLY Food grade PG & VG and for Nic base I ONLY Buy from Wizard Labs .I DO NOT Add Food Coloring (like some do)
    I ONLY sell what I would /Do Vape !

  4. Amanda Crawford June 27, 2013 at 3:44 pm #

    This article is a breath of fresh air for us vapers – recently its been story after story of how bad they are and how we shouldnt use them.

  5. MECR December 5, 2013 at 11:07 pm #

    Although I’m not a smoker, let’s face it, anything is better than smoking tobacco. E-Cigarettes may still deliver nicotine, which isn’t exactly the healthiest chemical to consume, but it is a hell of a lot healthier than tar, rat poison, and carcinogens. And I’m surprised that researchers are surprised of the quality of e-cigarettes – if brands were killing people left and right because of low quality manufacturing, don’t you think the news media would have reported it and the industry would have died already? The basics of brand reputation dictate you offer high quality products to your customers.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

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