In Richmond and many cities, “vaping” is regarded as a cool and healthier way to satisfy nicotine cravings through electronic cigarettes. Stores selling them have popped up throughout the region.
But there’s new evidence that vaping may be even more dangerous than smoking traditional tobacco cigarettes. The reason is formaldehyde, which in certain quantities could pose as much or even more of a cancer risk than the usual smokes.
Five scientists at Portland State University make that finding in a peer-reviewed letter published in the New England Journal of Medicine.
The key is how the users set the electric voltage on their e-cigarettes. The charge is used to heat up a flavored liquid with nicotine that makes a vapor that's inhaled. If the e-cig is set to low voltage there isn’t much resulting formaldehyde.
But if the e-cig is set to high voltage, there is. If a heavy vaper uses high voltage consistently, there could be five to 15 times more of a chance for getting cancer from formaldehyde than by smoking tobacco cigarettes.
E-cigs were hailed as a way for tobacco users to wean themselves from the golden weed to something safer, even though there are issues with the nicotine that e-cigs contain. If a child injects a significant amount of nicotine, it can be fatal.
So, you can look at it this way. Keep your e-cig on low voltage and maybe you will be OK.