Published on March 9th, 2016 | by Jimmy Hafrey
The misinformation campaign that is directed towards vapers has experienced yet another blow to the cause.
This time, the Daily Caller reported on a study from Portland State University, where scientists claim to find high levels of formaldehyde when vaping. Chemistry professor and lead researcher on the study, David Peyton, claimed to have found levels of formaldehyde that were up to fifteen times higher than what was found in conventional cigarettes.
If it sounds sobering enough, the study wasn’t done yet. Mr. Peyton concluded in a letter to the New England Journal of Medicine that vaping daily would lead to long-time exposure and could drastically contribute to vapers developing lung cancer.
But as we have reported before, this study has been deconstructed to the base facts, one of which is that vaping and formaldehyde have a relationship that is based on high-temperature settings.
The trouble with studies like these is that the methodology used to curate the results are rarely, if ever, used by real-life vapers. For example, the study simulated lung inhalation by using a syringe with a voltage setting that was atypical — the setting was much higher than the average 3.3 voltage setting used by most vapers.
What does this mean? It means that the scientists who were conducting the study — who have acknowledged that at a more normal setting, formaldehyde wasn’t detectable at all — were using rare circumstances to create their results. In other words, their study has been discredited on the basis of using circumstances not used by real vapers.
The truth is that at the level of voltage the scientists used, they were simulating what vapers call “dry puffing,” a phenomenon that happens at around 5 volts with prolonged vape puffs at about 5 seconds a piece. “Dry puffing” is very uncomfortable and causes overheating of the wick inside the coil and a burning sensation in the nose and throat of vapers. It is so uncomfortable that vapers avoid the phenomenon when possible.
As Gregory Conley, the current president of the American Vaping Association, said over a year ago, “In the real world, vapers avoid dry puffs by lowering the length of their puff as they increase voltage.” Again, this means that the formaldehyde levels cited in the study are null and void.
But the bigger picture here is that a more recent study, which focused on the levels of formaldehyde that were found in prepackaged vaping kits, completely obliterated the idea that vaping produces more formaldehyde than cigarettes. In a study was done at Pennsylvania State University, three vape kits were found to contain less than one-sixth of the permissible exposure of formaldehyde as regulated by the World Health Organization.
So what does this mean for the vaping public? Well, very little, unless you are vaping at high voltage levels. If you are vaping with high voltage levels, consider toning down the level or taking shorter puffs.
But for all other vapers, keep in mind that information is power — these studies are aimed at causing fear in the vaping community, and the only way to combat it is to know and understand how vaping works.