According to a new study released by Johns Hopkins University's Bloomberg School of Public Health, vaping is just as bad for your lungs as it is for your chances of me finding you attractive. In all seriousness, the study concluded that e-cigarettes might be exposing people to toxic metals and carcinogens, including chromium, lead, and arsenic.
As Mashable reports, the study was published on Wednesday in Environmental Health Perspectives. Researchers sampled 56 vape devices from IRL e-cig smokers. This is important because previous studies only looked at brand new devices, which aren’t subjected to the same wear-and-tear as used ones. And as it turns out, heating up an unknown substance in a plastic cigarette over and over again is bad for you. Who’d have thunk it?
The study examined not only the liquid inside e-cigs but also the liquid inside the pen’s chamber and the vapor itself. Researchers were particularly curious as to whether the metal coil that heats the liquid in e-cigs was leeching toxic metals or generating them. Spoiler: It did.
The liquid inside the pens was fine to start, but the liquid inside the dispenser (which was heated) contained significant amounts of lead, chromium, and nickel, as did the vapor itself. These metals have been linked to lung cancer and respiratory disease—you know, just like regular cigarettes.
The findings raise important questions for regulations agencies, including the FDA. "It’s important for the FDA, the e-cigarette companies, and vapers themselves to know that these heating coils, as currently made, seem to be leaking toxic metals—which then get into the aerosols that vapers inhale," Ana María Rule, PhD, MHS, an assistant scientist in the Bloomberg School’s Department of Environmental Health and Engineering, said in a statement.
Sounds like your vaping habit might be even worse for you than you thought.