A new study commissioned by Japan’s Health Ministry has determined that, contrary to widely held beliefs among consumers, vaping does not provide a safer alternative to conventional tobacco cigarettes. In fact, researchers determined that e-juice used in vaping devices contains about 10 times more cancer-causing toxins than regular tobacco.
The Japanese study, prompted by the soaring use of vaping products in that country, revealed that the nicotine-laced vapor in several e-juice brands contains significant levels of formaldehyde, a known human carcinogen and acetaldehyde, which is harmful to the lungs, heart, and blood vessels, among other toxins.
The high levels of formaldehyde found in e-juice vapors were the most troublesome to the Japanese researchers. Formaldehyde is a compound that is used in embalming dead people. Routine exposure to it can promote the development of myeloid leukemia, nasal sinus cancer, and nasopharyngeal cancer.
One brand of e-juice tested contained more than 10 times the level of formaldehyde found in regular tobacco smoke.
According to Tech Times, heat from the wire in the vaping device that vaporizes the e-juice plays a role in the level of harmful toxins generated. The hotter the element gets, the more formaldehyde and other potentially deadly substances the device creates.
Vaping’s popularity is soaring in Japan just as it is in much of the industrialized world. In the U.S., a new federal survey found that vaping has surpassed the use of conventional cigarettes among teens and the same trend could occur among adults before too long.
While this upward trend in vapes vs. regular cigarettes could be heralded as a positive change in any demographic group, the Japanese study shows that the devices likely aren’t the safer alternative many assume they are. In their own right, the dangers of vaping could exceed those posed by regular tobacco smoke.
“The most important finding is that the vapor contained recognized carcinogens,” Hiroyuki Noda from the tobacco-free initiative of Japan’s health ministry told Tech Times. “Our panel of experts will now look into what possible effects those substances could have on the health of [vapers].”