Are e-cigaettes harmful to users? An unresolved question and its harder to judge the hazards to bystanders. How many different substances do e-smokers exhale – and what are they? A new study brings light to the shadows.
Electronic cigarettes are experiencing somewhat of a boom at the moment. An estimated two million people in Germany have already turned to the vapour cigarette, which many view as a healthy alternative to conventional smoking.
However, a number of voices, primarily from the political sphere, are warning of possible health risks, claiming that the long-term consequences cannot yet be foreseen.
Studies to date have come to mixed conclusions. There is a general lack of substantiated facts, fuelling an ongoing battle between supporters and opponents. By carrying out a new, independent study, researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Wood Research WKI in Braunschweig, Germany, hope to introduce a degree of objectivity into this emotional topic of debate.
The scientists' goal was to find out whether e-cigarettes pollute the surrounding air, thus affecting bystanders of an e-cigarette user.
An e-cigarette consists of a battery, an atomiser, a heating coil and a reservoir for the liquids used for producing vapor. These liquids are heated up in the atomiser and vaporised at between 65 and 120 degrees Celsius.