Clear The Air News Tobacco Blog Rotating Header Image

July, 2016:

Electronic Cigarette Releases Toxic Elements And Two Cancer-Causing Chemicals

A new research shows that the vapor from electronic cigarettes has two chemicals that can cause cancer. It also contains toxic chemicals, according to researchers.

The study was published in Environmental Science & Technology. It was led by researchers from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, according to The Verge.

The team examined the electronic cigarettes vapor by simulating vaping at different battery power settings. They discovered that the vaporizers released 31 toxic chemicals.

These include the two possibly chemicals that can cause cancer. These were not previously found in e-cig vapor.

The chemicals that were produced varied depending on the temperature at which the liquids are vaporized by the device’s heating coil. There would be an increased amount of chemicals emitted if the temperature inside the coil is higher.

The researchers said that when vaporizing, the liquid emits toxic chemicals. These include the propylene oxide and glycidol, which are two probable carcinogens.

Carcinogens are substances or radiations that are involved in causing cancer. These may harm the genome or to the disruption of cellular metabolic processes.

The FDA warned the public that some electronic cigarettes have diethylene glycol, which is an ingredient used in antifreeze in 2009. Likewise, another study in 2015 revealed that aerosols from electronic cigarettes have formaldehyde, which is another cancer-causing substance.

Hugo Destaillats, a co-author of the study from Berkeley Laboratory said that advocates of electronic cigarettes say emissions are much lower than from conventional cigarettes. On the other hand, he said that it may be true for certain users—for example, long time smokers that cannot quit—but the problem is, it doesn’t mean that they’re healthy. He concluded that regular cigarettes are super unhealthy and e-cigarettes are just unhealthy.

Could Tobacco Be the Next Big Sustainable Dye?

Tobacco doesn’t have to be a drag, according to Elise Comrie, a Fashion Futures graduate student at the London College of Fashion. One of 10 finalists for the Kering Award for Sustainable Fashion, a joint effort between the luxury and lifestyle conglomerate and the university’s Centre for Sustainable Fashion, Comrie suggests using the plant as a natural dye. More specifically, the Canadian native proposes that Brioni, an Italian menswear couture house and one of the competition’s partner brands, develop a line of smoking jackets using materials dyed with tobacco.


It’s a stance that isn’t without controversy, of course. Consumed primarily through cigars and cigarettes, tobacco has been cited by the World Health Organization as the planet’s single greatest cause of preventable death. Then there’s the issue of child labor, a problem as endemic in Indonesia as it is in North Carolina.

But Comrie says that tobacco has qualities that lends it well to the sustainable realm. For one thing, it only takes 90 days to grow the crop for harvest. It also uses 40 percent less energy in the dyeing phase than cotton.

By supplanting synthetic dyes that contribute to toxic wastewater, Comrie says that tobacco-based products could help mitigate pollution in the textile industry.

Growing up in Saskatchewan shaped her view of the plant, as well. “I grew up with a close-knit relationship to indigenous peoples of the region that I’m from and at a young age I learned the spiritual and healing benefits of the sacred tobacco plant,” she said in a statement. “It was of prime importance to me that my history and who I am spoke clearly in my proposal. So much of the fashion industry is removed from people and their stories and I felt this to be an important aspect of my project.”

Comrie also drew from the decades of advertising that have conditioned us to associate—erroneously, for the most part—tobacco with masculine virility.

“I felt it necessary to have a masculine and yet innovative solution that the Brioni man could relate to,” she said. “I felt strongly about the innovative tobacco dye as a platform to help the Brioni client relate and see the importance of sustainability but still have the ‘cool’ factor.”

To create her palette, Comrie worked with Dimora Colours, formerly known as Ploughboy Organics, which specializes in the development of nontoxic tobacco dyes and fibers. She also consulted with faculty members from the school and Brioni’s own sustainability department.

Of her journey with Kering and the London College of Fashion, Comrie has nothing but praise.

“Having followed the Kering Award closely since its inception, it was a personal goal of mine to be a finalist,” she said. “The mentoring phase offered to the finalists is a rare opportunity for students to have guidance at this level.

Our questions as well as our innovations were welcomed and treated with such respect; it was a very positive experience.”

The hotter the vape, the more harm to the vapist

New research out of Berkeley Lab shows that not every puff is equal, and clearly outlines the factors that increase risk. Temperature, type, and age of the device all play a role in how much harmful emissions the e-cig produces, but the heat was a main point of interest.

In the paper, researchers detected significant levels of 31 toxic chemicals, including formaldehyde, acrolein, propylene oxide, and previously undetected glycidol present.

Acrolein is used as a herbicide and is found in conventional cigarettes. Glycidol is an irritant that’s a potential carcinogen, as is propylene oxide. Formaldehyde, of course, is the tobacco industry’s most famous carcinogen. These and other toxins increased several-fold after sustained use of the vape, after it heated up around 20 puffs. High temperatures meant more harmful emissions.

Inhaling Fruity Pebble-flavored formaldehyde seems pretty gnarly, as does getting your leg blown up, and having your teeth knocked out of their sockets.

One of the authors on the Berkeley study summed up their findings thusly: “Regular cigarettes are super unhealthy. E-cigarettes are just unhealthy.”

Regular cigarettes are super unhealthy, but to their credit, they don’t spontaneously blow up limbs. Sorry, vapists, but hitting the glazed donut vape juice sounds increasingly more akin to a drone strike than a safer cigarette alternative.

Why are E-Cigarettes Blowing Up?

E-Cigarette Explodes in Man’s Pocket:

The poor guy is simply trying to pay for something at the Shell station when the battery in the e-cigarette in his pocket explodes. He was hospitalized with burns to his groin and hand. Here’s another video about a guy in Florida who is in a coma after his e-cig blew up in his face while he was vaping. The explosion shot the mouth piece down his throat where it may have exploded again.

E-cigarettes have become a multi-billion dollar industry. The potential for these devices to cause horrific injuries can be appreciated by simply watching the first several You Tube videos under “exploding e-cigarettes” where surveillance video captured the explosions. Just Google “exploding e-cigarettes” and you’ll also discover pages of stories about e-cigarette explosions resulting in terrible burn injuries.

Why are e-cigarettes exploding?

All e-cigarettes rely on a heating element that boils a liquid chemical solution. The solution is typically a combination of nicotine, flavoring, and various chemicals. The power source for the heating element is a lithium ion battery.

These batteries contain flammable electrolytes. When the electrolytes are heated to their boiling point, the pressure inside the battery can cause the battery to rupture, which in turn causes the electrolytes to catch on fire. Similar to what happens to the defective propellant in a Takata airbag, the pressure can cause the e-cigarette container and the battery to break apart and spray burning shrapnel. Explosions have occurred during vaping and while the e-cigs were in the user’s pocket. Reported injuries from exploding e-cigarettes include severe burns to the face, groin, hands, and legs; eye injuries including blindness; and coma.

Legal issues

The bad news for victims is that approximately 90% of e-cigarettes sold in the United States were made in China. Most of those are sold by retail vaping shops that may or may not have sufficient insurance coverage. As the plaintiffs in the Chinese drywall litigation learned, Chinese manufacturing defendants can be difficult to serve.

Moreover, China may not recognize a U.S. judgment, so collection can be problematic. The good news is that the products liability laws in states like Virginia recognize legal theories based upon breach of warranties against distributors. Virginia also recognizes joint and several liability, which means that one can sue the manufacturer, distributor, component parts manufacturers (e.g., the lithium battery manufacturer) and retailers, and collect the entire judgment against the insured or solvent defendants.

Can e-cigarettes be made to be safe?

Even though these devices are blowing up in consumers’ faces and in their pockets, they have gone largely unregulated. The civil justice system is the only way to hold the manufacturers of these defective devices responsible and to effect the change necessary to make these devices safer. I hesitate to use the word “safe” because a new study shows that the vapor from e-cigarettes contains two previously undiscovered cancer-causing chemicals. As the Washington Post reported today, researchers found that e-cigarette vapor contains 29 chemicals, two of which are considered probable carcinogens. According the the New England Journal of Medicine, the chemicals are used to create artificial smoke. When these chemicals are decomposed by being heated, they also release toxic chemicals such as acrolein and formaldehyde. The myth that vaping is safe is being debunked by science.

Full ban on shisha, emerging tobacco products in S’pore from Aug 1

SINGAPORE — The ban on shisha will kick in on Monday (Aug 1) after the end of a grace period.

Licensed tobacco importers and retailers who import or sell shisha tobacco will be prohibited from importing, wholesaling or selling tobacco, the Ministry of Health (MOH) and the Health Sciences Authority announced in a joint statement on Thursday (July 28).

Although it was banned since Nov 28, 2014, shisha tobacco importers and retailers were given a grace period until July 31, 2016 to allow them to restructure their businesses and deplete their existing stock.

The ban on shisha tobacco is part of a larger suite of measures to reduce tobacco consumption.

Also coming into force on Monday is the second phase of the ban on on emerging tobacco products available in Singapore, including nasal snuff, oral snuff, gutkha, kaini and zarda.

In June last year, the MOH announced the first phase of the ban on emerging tobacco products not already available in Singapore. The ban was put into effect on Dec 15, 2015, and prohibited products such as smokeless cigars, dissolvable tobacco or nicotine, topically applied tobacco, and any solution with tobacco or nicotine that could be used with e-cigarettes.

All licensed tobacco importers, wholesalers and retailers will therefore be prohibited from importing, wholesaling or retailing all forms of emerging tobacco products.

Anyone who flouts the bans on emerging smoking products and shisha could be jailed up to six months and/or fined up to S$10,000. Those with a prior conviction could be jailed up to 12 months and/or fined up to S$20,000.

As part of the Tobacco (Control of Advertisements and Sale) Act (TCASA), there will also be a ban on the point-of-sale display of tobacco products. This will take effect on Aug 1, 2017 as retailers have a one-year grace period.

The existing ban on advertisements for tobacco products will also be extended to cover advertising for e-cigarettes and similar products. The ban on advertising for tobacco products, e-cigarettes and similar products will include advertisements published electronically. This covers advertisements and sales promotions originating from Singapore and those from outside of Singapore that can be accessed by people in Singapore.

Customer loyalty programmes and promotional schemes involving tobacco products are also not allowed.

Members of the public with information on retailers and importers contravening the ban may call the authorities’ reporting line at 6684-2036 or 6884-2037 during office hours.

Study reveals cancer-causing chemicals on e-cigarettes

Carcinogen, according to several dictionaries including the Merriam-Webster, is a substance capable of causing cancers in living tissue. That is to say, foods we eat or things available in the market that have high levels of carcinogen must be avoided at all times for longer life.

And now, a new study is putting a warning sign on e-cigarette–or, the electronic cigarette–a device used by many Americans including the one point seventy-eight million middle and high school students in 2012 according to the CDC, because it contains previously unidentified carcinogens.

As reported in the Washington Post, the research paper is for the ACS journal of Environmental Science and Technology, and it claims that the e-cig contains two previously unknown cancer-causing toxins. Both, the report adds, are considered ‘probable carcinogens’ by the government, and they are used in the device to create artificial smoke.

The team with author Hugo Destaillats, also a Berkeley Lab researcher, have analyzed vapor from two different kinds of e-cigarrete products filled with three different refill liquids, and found several vapor components like propylene glycol and glycerin. In addition to the irritants–which are also considered probable carcinogens–they’ve also identified twenty-nine other chemicals released in the device.

In a statement, Destaillats underlines the common statement of e-cig supporters, saying that its emissions are much lower compared to the conventional cigarettes. That may be true for certain users, he adds, but clarifies that using e-cig doesn’t promote good health. Regular cigarettes, he says, are “super unhealthy” while the e-cig are “just unhealthy.”

In May of this year, a Reuters poll revealed that about ten percent of the nearly ten thousand American adults that they surveyed use the device, the same percentage as in the similar poll they conducted in May of 2015. However, there’s a growing percentage of participants this year who expressed negative attitudes toward the electronic device.

Forty-seven of which said vaping was “not healthier than smoking conventional cigarettes,” compared to just thirty-eight percent of participants who felt that way a year ago. Meanwhile, forty-three percent said they did not believe that vaping could help people quit smoking conventional cigarettes, compared to thirty-nine percent who had the same belief in 2015. More people this year are also convinced that vaping can be addictive.

Hong Kong women and men enjoy world’s longest life expectancy due to low smoking rates, health experts claim

Second place held by Japanese women and Icelandic and Swiss men

Hong Kong’s women and men enjoy the longest life expectancy in the world, according to data released by Japan’s health and welfare ministry on Wednesday.

The average lifespan for women in Hong Kong is 87.32 years, and local men on average can expect to live to 81.24.

Japanese women took second place at 87.05, while Icelandic and Swiss men shared the second position in the men’s category at 81 years.

The overall life expectancy gap between women and men fell by 0.07 year last year, compared with the previous year’s figures.

Since 1985, Japanese womenhad the world’s longest average life expectancy. But this changed in 2011 when Hong Kong women overtook them after the catastrophic earthquake and tsunami in north-eastern Japan [2] in March that same year.

Japanese women then regained the top spot in 2012 and managed to retain it for three consecutive years until last year.

A Japanese health ministry spokesman said longer lifespans resulted from improved medical treatment and technology in beating diseases like cancer.

Meanwhile, local health experts expressed little surprise over the findings for Hong Kong.

University of Hong Kong public health professor Lam Tai-Hing said the city’s low smoking rates were the main reason for its life expectancy results. “Smoking in Hong Kong compared with 30 years ago has been reduced by half,” he said, adding that recent data showed 19 per cent of local men smoked and only 3 per cent of local women smoked.

Lam noted that, when compared with Japan’s number of smokers – 30 per cent of men and 10 per cent of women – Hong Kong would continue to eclipse Japan in life expectancy rates in future. Michael Ni Yuxuan, a clinical assistant professor of public health at HKU, agreed with Lam. “Hong Kong has extremely low tobacco rates compared with the UK, US and Japan,” he said.

Ni highlighted low infant and maternal mortality rates as another major factor. Department of Health figures showed infant mortality rates in the city dropped from 9.7 per 1,000 live births in 1981 to 1.3 per 1,000 last year.

But Lam cautioned that differences between Hong Kong and Japan had to be taken into consideration. “Hong Kong is a city. Japan is a whole country,” he said, explaining that Japanese living in rural areas may have worse nutrition than Hongkongers as well as less accessibility to health care and education – factors in life expectancy. “In general, people in the city have longer lives, and people in Hong Kong have good access to education, clean water and electricity,” he added.

Source URL:

E-cig liquid nicotine containers often mislabeled

And as many as two-thirds of these containers may not be child-resistant, the researchers found.

Consuming even small amounts of liquid nicotine can harm a child, the scientists said.

“Mislabeling of nicotine in e-liquids exposes the user to the harmful effects of nicotine,” said study author Kelly Buettner-Schmidt, an associate professor of nursing at North Dakota State University.

“In areas without child-resistant packaging requirements, children may be exposed to harmful nicotine,” she said in a university news release.

The researchers checked 93 e-cigarette liquid containers from 16 stores in North Dakota. They found that 70 were labeled containing nicotine amounts ranging from 3 to 24 milligrams per milliliter (mg/mL). However, actual nicotine levels in 51 percent of the containers were different from what was on the label. Thirty-four percent had less nicotine, while 17 percent had more than the label said.

The actual amount of nicotine in the mislabeled containers ranged from 66 percent less to 172 percent more, the study showed.

Of the 23 containers that claimed to have no nicotine, almost half had some nicotine. The average level was 0.19 mg/mL, and the highest was 0.48 mg/mL, researchers said.

Results were published in the July-August issue of the Journal of Pediatric Nursing.

E-cig vapor releases two cancerous chemicals, new study says

Vapor from electronic cigarettes contains two previously undiscovered cancer-causing chemicals, according to a new study.

Researchers at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory found propylene glycol, an eye and respiratory irritant, and glycerin, a skin, eye and respiratory irritant, among 29 other chemicals released in e-cigarette vapor.

Both are considered “probable carcinogens” by federal health officials. They’re used in e-cigarettes to create artificial smoke.

Decomposition of those chemicals, caused by heating them inside an e-cig, also releases toxic chemicals such as acrolein and formaldehyde, according to the study published in the journal Environmental Science and Technology.

“Advocates of e-cigarettes say emissions are much lower than from conventional cigarettes, so you’re better off using e-cigarettes,” Hugo Destaillats, the study’s author and Berkeley Lab researcher, said in a statement.

“I would say, that may be true for certain users — for example, long time smokers that cannot quit — but the problem is, it doesn’t mean that they’re healthy. Regular cigarettes are super unhealthy. E-cigarettes are just unhealthy,” he said.

Researchers simulated “vaping” with three types of “e-liquids” in two vaporizers operated at different battery settings.

The higher the temperature inside the vaporizer’s heating coil, the more chemicals were emitted. E-cigs with one heating coil instead of two released higher amounts of chemicals because the coil was hotter, the study found.

And puffs taken at different times released varying amounts of chemicals, the research showed. Vapes taken while an e-cig was heating up released lower levels of chemicals than when the device was used at a “steady state” with constant heat.

Previous studies have already shown e-cigarettes emit toxic chemicals. The FDA in 2009 warned that some e-cigarettes emit diethylene glycol, a chemical used in antifreeze. A 2015 study in the New England Journal of Medicine found e-cigs give off formaldehyde, another carcinogen.

And e-cigarette use has also spiked in the United States. More than 13 percent of middle and high school students in 2014 had used an e-cigarette, triple the number that had used them the year before, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Almost 13 percent of adults, and more than 21 percent of adults aged 18 to 24, reported using e-cigarettes in 2014, the CDC found.

The FDA banned the sale of e-cigs to minors in May.

Stub you: How a tobacco giant is bypassing packaging rules

IMPERIAL Tobacco has deployed a new trick to circumvent plain packaging legislation and it’s caught the Federal Government flat footed.

Packs of 20 Peter Stuyvesant cigarettes – manufactured by Imperial – are being sold with a lift out soft pack inside the olive boxes mandated by the Rudd/Gillard Government in 2011.

The move means people are able to throw away the cardboard box carrying warnings of cancer, gangrene, blindness and heart disease and instead use a shiny silver pack to carry their smokes.

Imperial Tobacco is inserting soft packs inside its packets of Peter Stuyvesant cigarettes to get around the Federal Government's plain packaging legislation.

Imperial Tobacco is inserting soft packs inside its packets of Peter Stuyvesant cigarettes to get around the Federal Government’s plain packaging legislation.

A spokeswoman for Imperial denied the company was breaking the law before adding: “we are providing a fresher, premium product to consumers.”

The Federal Department of Health said it would investigate the issue – after it was raised by Australian Regional Media with Federal Health Minister Sussan Ley.

Ms Ley and the department declined to comment further because the investigation is ongoing.

The Plain Packaging Act states that: “If the pack contains lining – the lining of the pack must be made only of foil backed with paper,” which the soft packs in question are.

And while there is also a section precluding tobacco companies from having fold out panels on their packets there is nothing that specifically addresses this latest move by Imperial.

The regulations which accompany the Act also fail to do this.

The maximum penalty for manufacturers who breach the plain packaging legislation is $36,000.

This is not the first time Imperial has used extras with Peter Stuyvesant cigarettes to entice smokers.

A report by Quit Victoria in 2011 mentioned the brand’s previous behaviour.

“In February 2006, one month prior to the adoption of picture‐based warnings on tobacco packages, Peter Stuyvesant cigarettes were being sold in ‘trendy retro‐style tins’ which, unlike soft packets of cigarettes with on‐pack printed warnings, had health warning stickers that were easily peeled off,” the report stated.

“Retailers reported that the tins were very popular with younger smokers.”