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Misleading Study On Vaping Debunked Misleading Study On Vaping Debunked

A study claiming toxicities found in e-cigarettes is not reliable.

Public health officials and experts around the world have been systematically targeting vaping and demonizing it in a manner similar to smoking over the last several years. These repeated attacks attempt to portray vaping to be just as harmful as smoking, despite emerging evidence highlighting its relative safety and efficacy as a smoking cessation aid.

A study published in the European Union raised concerns among public health officials regarding possible toxicities found in vapor products. The report in question highlights potentially harmful levels of fourteen flavoring chemicals commonly identified as respiratory irritants.

The study, published in the European Respiratory Journal, noted that evaluated e-liquid samples contained increased levels of fourteen compounds, levels that fail to comply with current standards laid under the EU Tobacco Directive Initiative.

Public health officials cite the study as evidence behind the so-called “dangers” of vaping and flavored vapor products. Some public health experts, such as Dr. Konstantinos Farsalinos of the Onassis Cardiac Centre, dispute the findings and the validity of the research in question.

In his own replication study, Dr. Farsalinos debunks the original study’s findings by finding fatal defects in their testing procedures. His study found that while these compounds were present in the e-liquids, they actually fell far below the minimum legal threshold to be considered toxic.

Debunking Misinformation

To correct the record on vaping, Dr. Konstantinos Farsalinos of the Onassis Cardiac Surgery Centre, set out to test the findings published in the European Respiratory Journal by replicating their testing procedures in his own study. In his results, Dr. Farsalinos found that while present, any compounds identified in the initial study fell far below the minimum legal threshold to be classified as toxic under the European Union Tobacco Products Directive.

Farsalinos’ team compared concentrated levels of each compound against the minimum levels required by the directive to be classified as “toxic.” The team then conducted a similar analysis on theoretical e-liquid composed of the fourteen chemicals at their highest concentrations, results of which are published under the title “Toxicity classification of e-cigarette flavouring compounds based on European Union regulation: analysis of findings from a recent study” in the Harm Reduction Journal.

“There was at least one toxicity classification for all the flavouring chemicals, with the most prevalent classifications related to skin, oral, eye, and respiratory toxicities,” according to the report. the vast majority of these chemicals found were only observed at extremely low levels, even far below even normal air.

Dr. Farsalinos and his team did note that e-liquid production is not as tightly regulated as some in the industry would hope, with all ingredients being readily available for anyone to purchase and mix. He noted that some industry regulation may be needed to ensure levels are kept to predetermined legal thresholds laid out by officials.

Safety Of Vaping

Misinformation like the study debunked by Dr.Farsalinos are often cited by lawmakers as evidence to support vapor bans in the name of protecting teens, despite evidence showing they’re already not likely to consider vaping. In a study conducted by Public Health England, researchers there found that as few as 0.1% and 0.5% of teens who try vaping continue to do so regularly.

These lawmakers note the “dangers” of vaping, despite constant evidence highlighting its relative safety compared to smoking. In a study performed by the Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center, researchers found vaping to be 93% safer than smoking.

Aside from its relative safety when compared to smoking, there is emerging evidence highlighting the efficacy of vaping as a smoking cessation aid. In a study carried out by the University of Louisville, researchers there found vaping to be the single most effective smoking cessation tool available on the market today.

Despite these attacks, evidence highlighting the safety of vaping and proving its efficacy in smoking cessation continues to emerge daily. A study published in the Journal of Aerosol Sciences found that vapers have a shocking 57,000 times lower risk of developing cancer when compared to smokers.


Dr. Farsalinos’ replication study is vital in telling the whole story regarding the safety of vaping. In a publication co-authored by Dr. Riccardo Polosa in the journal Expert Review of Respiratory Medicine, the doctor warns against these junk “e-cig studies” that focus on testing e-liquid directly opposed to vapor.

It is important for members of the vaping community and vaping industry to counter misinformation as it arises. These kinds of faulty studies are repeatedly parroted by anti-vaping activists and lawmakers as evidence to justify hastily enacted bans that have no proven impact on public health and may only serve to its detriment.

Members of the vaping community and vaping industry must remain civically engaged. It is important to hold lawmakers accountable who are actively acting against the public interest.

How do you feel about these “flavor” bans? Are these bans really protecting teens or just restricting the rights of adult vapers? What’s your favorite flavor of e-liquid? Please let us know what you think in the comments below. Be sure to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter to receive all the latest vaping news!

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Dustin Erickson

Dustin Erickson - ECR.net Editor

Dustin can lay claim as one the first e-cigarette reviewers on the internet. Back in the summer of 2009 he set out on a mission to spread the word about e-cigs with this very site. Nearly 2.5 Million visitors, 1,700 Reviews collected and 5 years later, he’s still as passionate as ever and one of the leading Vaping advocates online.