Second Hand Vapor

For the user, it’s obvious that vaping is a great alternative to smoking. Many of us, including myself, now prefer vaping to smoking entirely. I really enjoy all the different flavor options and being able to vape a single hit or two without dedicating 5-10 minutes to go have a cigarette.

Now what about what you exhale when vaping? We already know what’s in the e-juice, but what exactly is coming out of our lungs into the air to potentially bother those around us?

The most recent study I know of is conducted by clearstream working closely with utah vapers. The study has completed and is now in the process of full doctoral review so the summary is no longer published at that page. The short version is that second hand vapor contains no harmful chemicals and no nicotine. Really the only possible irritants that I can think of are the trace amounts of flavor.

Here is an excerpt of what used to be there:

In December 2011, the Utah Vapers began working closely with FlavourArt from Milan Italy to research the current studies on electronic cigarettes. What we found is a lack of evidence to support the belief we all had in that there was no harm to bystanders in exhaled vapor (second-hand vapor). After months of coordination, Clearstream Air was announced to the world electronic cigarette community on 22 March 2012 – also known as World Vaping Day.

Simply put, the Clearstream Air project is a comparative evaluation between tobacco and electronic cigarettes and hoped to draw a positive conclusion about the lack of harm with electronic cigarette usage. The study focused on the release of airborne contaminants in closed room environment to determine if there are any contaminants and if so, at what levels.

The following substances were measured for in the exhaled smoke and vapor.

  • Carbon monoxide CO
  • Nitrogen oxides NOx
  • Acrolein
  • Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons PAHs
  • Volatile Organic Compounds VOC
  • Total Organic Carbon TOC
  • Nicotine
  • Glycerine and propylene glycol (components of the electronic cigarettes fluids)


Study Results

As the study has been completed and a professional doctoral review completed, I’m proud to announce that the results are better than we could have anticipated. In short, there is NO harm found in exhaled vapor from electronic cigarettes. The most exciting results I found is that testing did not detect any nicotine in the exhaled vapor. Now, you may ask why I find this exciting. Well, my excitement is on two levels. 1) This means that the human lung absorbs most if not all of the nicotine which has long been questioned within the global electronic cigarette community; and 2) This also means no nicotine was detected in the ‘second-hand vapor’. All other substances measured for electronic cigarettes were FAR below allowable levels for human inhalation according to the FDA. In fact, the levels were so low that it proves it is more hazardous to your health to breath the air in any major downtown metropolitan city during heightened times of driving.

I invite you to review the study yourself and draw your own conclusions. If you are in the medical or scientific fields, please take the invitation to review the report in detail and let me know if you draw a different conclusion. If you prefer to wait for the full doctoral paper, we anticipate the full peer reviewed release of this paper to occur near the end of July 2012.

Clearstream Air Laboratory Results

Air filter from tobacco cigarette room (19 tobacco cigarettes)


Air filter from electronic cigarette room (1.5ml eLiquid)
ecig second hand vapor study results

Should you wish to discuss the results of this study further or have any questions, please contact Aaron:

What is ejuice?

What is e-Juice?

So now that you understand that vaping isn’t smoking, the next question most people have is whats in that liquid that’s being atomized into vapor?

e-Liquid or e-Juice is normally composed of up to 5 ingredients (not main ingredients with a giant list of other stuff, all ingredients) :

  1. VG (Vegetable Glycerin) The Base makes up 80-90% of e-juice and is composed of 100% VG or a mix with PG. Common ratios are 100% VG, 50/50 PG/VG, and 80/20 PG/VG. It is widely used in all types of food and personal care products like toothpaste.
  2. PG (Propylene glycol) Commonly mixed with VG as the base for e-juice. This is a solvent that’s used in all sorts of things. Along with being a solvent, its mainly known for its use in fog machines.  A higher PG mix e-juice will produce thicker clouds of vapor. However PG can dry out your throat and even cause mild allergic reactions in some users. If you have any issues with PG, just use a 100% VG e-juice like those from Virgin Vapor
  3. Flavor 10%-20%. All the e-juice I’ve seen uses Food grade flavorings originally intended for baking or candy making. Here is an excerpt from the LorAnn website: “All of our materials are food grade (where applicable) and adhere to standards set down in the USP, NF or FCC (U.S.Pharmacopoeia, National Formulary, and Food Chemical Codex).”
  4. Nicotine 0%-2.4% depending on strength. Any large supplier of e-juice is using pharmaceutical grade pure nicotine.
  5. Distilled water is sometimes used to dilute if needed.

That’s it. From as little as 2 ingredients (VG and flavor) to as many as 5, and theories on nicotine ingestion non withstanding, all used regularly in food products. Remember, the important thing is what e-juice doesn’t contain: the 4000+ chemicals in a cigarette.