A Study Floated An Insane Claim That Vaping Exposes Users To Dangerous Metals
A renowned expert on public health is ripping an anti-vaping study that claims e-cigarettes expose users to dangerous levels of toxic metals as misinformation.
The research, recently published in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives, suggests that toxic metals including arsenic, chromium, manganese, nickel and lead, are leaking from the heating coils in vapor devices, exposing users to chemicals that cause cancer. The alarming report has sparked a wave of misleading media headlines warning vapers of the potentially dire consequences of their habit, including slowly poisoning themselves with lead, reported Vaping Post.
The research study is troubling on the surface, however, the results are being misrepresented and overblown by tobacco controllers, according to Dr. Konstantinos Farsalinos, a leading global expert on tobacco and research fellow at the Onassis Cardiac Surgery Centre in Athens, Greece.
“The ‘significant amount’ of metals the authors reported they found were measured in ug/kg,” Farsalinos said in a recent Facebook post. “In fact they are so low that for some cases (chromium and lead) I calculated that you need to vape more than 100 ml per day in order to exceed the FDA limits for daily intake from inhalational medications. The authors once again confuse themselves and everyone else by using environmental safety limits related to exposure with every single breath, and apply them to vaping. However, humans take more than 17,000 (thousand) breaths per day but only 400-600 puffs per day from an e-cigarette.”
Farsalinos has previously been critical of researchers pushing misinformation on vaping, which is often driven by ideological opposition. A perpetual onslaught of hysterical media coverage over the alleged threats posed by vaping is creating confusion among smokers, depriving the most at-risk population of life saving technology.
Clive Bates of Counterfactual, a public interest consultancy and advocacy group, recently noted that among the general population, “those incorrectly believing e-cigs were just as harmful or worse than cigarettes had risen from 39.8 percent to 55.4 percent,” between 2013 and 2017, according to Dr. Brad Rodu in Tobacco Truth.
Rodu, a professor of medicine at the University of Louisville and associate fellow with the R Street Institute, says misconceptions regarding vaping are even more “disheartening” among active smokers, who have the most to gain from embracing alternative smoking technologies.
The number of smokers who believe vaping is safer than smoking rose from 38 percent to 57 percent between 2012 and 2013, however, in 2017 that number plummeted back down to only 38 percent, according to data from the National Cancer Institute’s Health Information National Trends Survey (HINTS).
Meanwhile, smokers who perceived vaping as either equally as harmful or more harmful than combustible cigarettes rose from 34 percent in 2013 to 53 percent in 2017. As a result, the number of former smokers who actively vape decreased from 6.3 million in 2014 to 4.1 million in 2016, according to the latest available data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
“Smokers are the unfortunate victims of this irresponsible crusade,” Rodu says in Tobacco Truth. “These are the people whose lives will be shortened if they don’t quit.”
Instead of alarmism over the alleged threats posed by smokeless tobacco and vapor products, users should be taught about the relative risks of those products when compared to smoking.
Public health advocates say efforts to spread misinformation on alternative smoking options that minimize their benefits simply deny smokers less harmful options while tacitly encouraging them to keep using a more dangerous product.
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