In the past, we have posted blogs on the harmful effects of cigarettes and the incredibly negative impact that they have on indoor air quality. By today’s standards, such blogs can be argued as belonging in the “tell us something we don’t know” section of our website! All jokes aside, it is unlikely that there is anyone left on Earth who doesn’t realize that cigarette smoking is deadly. It’s hazardous to the health of both smokers and non-smokers alike.
Secondhand smoke, as we all should know, contains just as many harmful toxins as the smoke being inhaled by the cigarette smoker. So, it goes without saying that if a person is smoking while indoors, the air of the room is severely impacted. Plain and simple, there are no positive aspects of smoking cigarettes indoors – or outdoors for that matter. However, it needs to be reiterated that for the best indoor air quality, cigarette smoking must be prohibited.
We understand that, for cigarette smokers, quitting is a hard task. Nicotine addictions are hard to break – and that’s putting it mildly. However, many cigarette smokers are taking strides in breaking their habits by trying alternatives to natural cigarettes. In recent years, e-cigarettes have become all the rage. No, these aren’t virtual cigarettes that are “smoked” on the internet. They are “electronic” versions of the real thing that emit vapour instead of smoke.
What is an e-cigarette exactly? Here’s how the Society for the Study of Addiction explains it: “E-cigarette use produces a visible vapour that is usually able to be smelled, depending on the flavours and other contents of the fluid. The vapour is discharged into the air only when the user exhales (i.e. there is no sidestream vapour), in contrast to tobacco cigarettes that discharge smoke continuously while kept alight, and when the user exhales.”
But are e-cigarettes any safer than the real thing? You would think that they must be if they are considered a habit-breaking alternative. However, research has shown that while e-cigarettes may not contain as many harmful toxins as their authentic counterparts, they aren’t exactly “healthy” choices. According to the Center for Tobacco Control Research and Education, e-cigarettes aren’t doing any favours to indoor air quality.
They report that Bud Offerman, an indoor air quality expert, published a paper in the June 2014 issue of ASHRAE Journal, commenting on the subject. He found that the aerosol emitted from e-cigarettes “consists of condensed submicron liquid droplets, which contain many chemicals including some that are carcinogenic, such as formaldehyde, metals (cadmium, lead, nickel), and nitrosamines.”
So how are e-cigarettes bad for the air? “E-cigarettes emit harmful chemicals into the air and need to be regulated in the same manner as tobacco smoking,” Offerman explains, “There is evidence that nitrosamines, a group of carcinogens found specifically in tobacco, are carried over into the e-cigarette fluid from the nicotine extraction process. There is also evidence that the glycol carriers can by oxidized by the heating elements used in e-cigarettes to vaporize the liquids, creating aldehydes such as formaldehyde.”
We’re sorry to have to report to you that although e-cigarettes certainly emit less harmful toxins into the air than regular cigarettes, they can’t necessarily be considered “safe” for use. That being said, the best alternative to smoking cigarettes is still smoking nothing at all. And the best way to ensure that the indoor air quality of your home is the purest it can be is to test it. For information on our Air Quality Services, call DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd. at 1-855-668-3131 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.