Doctor Farsalinos ought to be a name familiar to you; he has carried out multiple investigations into electronic cigarettes and recently completed a new piece of research looking at the potential dangers of juice.

Dr Farsalinos E-Liquid Study
Dr Farsalinos

Why was the research carried out?

“I believe that vapers are entitled to know if their liquids contain diacetyl and acetyl propionyl, or not. And they can then make informed decisions. It is about time to stop having price and taste as the only criteria for choosing e-cigarette products.”

He looked at diacetyl and acetyl propionyl because they

“are avoidable and removable, because they are flavour ingredients or contaminants. I think that any avoidable risk should definitely be removed.”

“We have sufficient evidence to support that diacetyl can cause harm to the lungs when exposed long-term.”

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What did the study look at?

159 samples from 36 different manufacturers from across the world were studied.

Who paid for this research?

The funds were raised through crowd funding. The doctor believes that the vaping industry, vendors and manufacturers, have a duty to contribute to paying for the research that will benefit consumers and their reputation.

How were the juices tested?

Each juice was vaporised and then the contents of the vapour were analysed using chromatography.

Chromatography?

This is a process where something is split into all of the individual parts that it is made from; in this case the gas cloud is broken down into all of the chemicals present.

What did it find?

Slightly bad news – 74.2% of liquids had both diacetyl and acetyl propionyl. Further liquids in the trials had just diacetyl.

Were the names of these juices released?

No.

Did he say what types of juice they were?

Sweet flavoured liquids, especially creamy ones.

Should I stop vaping these juices immediately?

Well, that is going to be a decision for you alone. But, if you listen to Farsalinos, the doctor states that: “vaping is better than smoking, even with diacetyl.”

How do the manufacturers of e-liquids feel?

Georgio, owner of House of Liquid, said:

“A lot of vendors…took the results of Mr Farsalinos’ research and are sincerely trying to work on it and improve their liquids. Vendors in our vaping world DO care.”

He continued:

“So, we have two problems to solve. The one is contamination. The flavouring companies may supply a flavouring extract that is supposed not to contain any Diacetyl but in reality it does because it is contaminated in their factory. This problem if I remember well is even addressed in Mr Farsalinos’ research.

The second problem is that Diacetyl may occur naturally over time in certain sweet and buttery liquids. Both the above problems as you will appreciate, are not easy to be solved. But believe me, from my part, I can tell you that I am working very hard to make sure that my liquids will never contain any Diacetyl or any similar substances.”

What can juice manufacturers do?

Accies Juice has released the details from the flavour house that supplies him. In their blurb they state:

“Our concentrates are free from diacetyl, 2,3 hexanedione, 2,3 heptanedione, 2,3 pentanedione (Acetyl Propionyl), terpenes, oils & lipids, essential oils and other substances currently classified as respiratory irritants.”

What can I do?

Ask you juice vendors about the liquids you buy. If you are not happy with their assurances then go hunt for a different brand.

What does Doctor Farsalinos think?

“Every supporter of e-cigarettes suggests that there must be some kind of testing and standards, to assess the quality of the products. Quality does not mean good taste or declarations by manufacturers. We fight so that any standards are proportionate, cost-effective and will provide realistic information.”

“It is unrealistic to expect that the current situation of having no obligation to test anything will continue for long. The key issue is not to have very restrictive regulations, not to stifle innovation, not to restrict variability of devices & liquids and not to ban flavours.”

I’m concerned now and unsure about vaping

The thing to remember is that the vaping industry is still growing and learning. The best thing about vaping is that most of the UK manufacturers and vendors are vapers too; we all want it to develop and succeed in keeping people away from smoking. All of the major public health figures supporting vaping have repeated how it is better for you than smoking. Nothing in life is totally safe; some things are just safer than others. Vaping is still far safer than smoking.

Sources:

http://www.ecigarette-research.com/web/index.php/research/2014/178-da-ap

http://ntr.oxfordjournals.org/content/early/2014/08/30/ntr.ntu176.short?rss=1

DaveX
Dave is a freelance writer for companies associated with tobacco harm reduction. He provides daily news coverage to Planet of the Vapes. He has been widely published in a number of print magazines focusing on vaping and tobacco harm reduction. A physicist that holds degrees and post-grad qualifications in business, physics, education, computer science and fine art.

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