The big one came from Drexel University. I read the entire thing end to end in some free time today. I'm kind of an academic nerd and enjoy reading about research methodologies and the techniques used to advance the body of knowledge on a subject. This big paper was essentially not a new study, but an academic exercise in the compilation of hundreds of already existing studies primarily looking at the known data on the short and long term effects of the inhalation of the components of E-juice. A great deal of research has already been done looking at the effects of both propylene glycol and vegetable glycerin for their use in fog machines and other devices.
The results of this study were not much of a surprise, but add nicely to the body of research that is being done currently about the health risks involved in vaping. The research concluded that there is little to no adverse affect on health of the inhalation of PG, VG, and nicotine. The study also focused greatly on the effects of second-hand exposure to vapor that is exhaled and concluded that there was little to no risk posed by it.
Okay, that said, another study came out today that tested cinnamon flavorings and found that several varieties of cinnamon flavoring are cytotoxic (toxic to living cells). For quite some time, the flavorings have been the big wild card in the health risks associated with vaping. Most of the discussion that I read tonight online seemed to point to the notion that vapers themselves consider the risk to be minimal even using stronger cinnamon flavors, but no real testing has been done to understand how the aerosolized cinnamon affects health. This study was enough to have Mt. Baker Vapor remove cinnamon products from their lineup of flavors. Personally, I think it's a bit knee-jerk, but you really have to appreciate folks in this industry not willing to even take chances with the health of their customers. I mean, let's face it. Most all of us likely started vaping to get off of cigarettes. Despite a huge dearth of research out there, most of us have seen our own health benefit from the big switch.
One thing is certain: as vaping gains popularity, more and more research will be done. And for those of us who love it, we hope that it continues to shed light on real health benefits that can be had from moving away from traditional tobacco products. I'm not sure that even the most dedicated vaper would suggest that it is wholly risk free. But we all seem to agree that it is better for us than smoking. And the existing and new research seems to back up our belief. That's nothing but good news. I just need to find a reasonable substitute for my favorite cinnamon now. That's a little painful.
For more information about the science behind vaping and the continued work to educate the public, check out CASAA's website at: casaa.org.