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Alternative method of e-cigarette use could pose risks to young people

February 6, 2017
by Gary A. Enos, Editor
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A study published today finds that one in four high school students who use electronic cigarettes might be risking exposure to higher levels of toxins by inhaling vapors produced by dripping e-liquids onto heating coils. The Yale University study, published online in Pediatrics, states that young males and more frequent users of e-cigarettes are among the groups most likely to engage in this “dripping” method.

“One of the concerns I have is when you are looking at the safety and risk of e-cigarettes, one really has to look at the risks of alternative uses also,” study lead author Suchitra Krishnan-Sarin, professor at psychiatry at Yale, said in a news release from the university. Krishnan-Sarin added, “Everybody assumes vaping is a safer way (than cigarettes) of administering nicotine, but we need to know so much more.”

The study was based on surveys of 1,080 Connecticut high schoolers who used e-cigarettes, and found that 26.1% of the group had tired dripping. Young people report that this method produces thicker vapor, a stronger hit in the back of the throat when inhaled, and a better taste. The higher heat generated by this method could increase exposure to dangerous chemicals such as formaldehyde and acetaldehyde, other research has indicated.

Other groups found to be more likely to engage in dripping include white students and youths who have tried more than one tobacco product, the researchers reported.