One of the main arguments against e-cigarette products is that there is no scientific proof to support claims made by e-cigarette manufacturers and distributors that state the product is safe for its intended use and safe for bystanders. New research out of New Zealand would make that argument invalid.
The company, Health New Zealand, released its study (found here: http://www.healthnz.co.nz/coynews.htm) this past April at the Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco (SRNT) conference. Their website states:
"Given that continued smoking of cigarettes carries a cumulative 1 in 2 death risk, the findings argue for:
1)less stringent regulation for very low-risk non-medicinal nicotine cigarette substitute products
2)the sale of this brand as a non-medicinal cigarette substitute, as its emissions have been tested"
The study suggested that because the operating temperature of an e-cigarette is only 5 to 10% of the temperature of a tobacco cigarette that they are, as a class of products, not likely to produce toxic substances in their mist that will affect bystanders.
Toxic emissions scores for the Ruyan brand of e-cigarettes tested compared to tobacco cigarette brands such as Marlboro revealed what most e-cigarette consumers already knew: tobacco cigarettes emit over 100 times more toxic chemicals than e-cigarettes do. From a list of more than 70 of toxic substances found in tobacco cigarette smoke, 0 of those toxicants were found in e-cigarette emissions.
Nicotine levels per puff were also analyzed: e-cigarette mist contains significantly less nicotine than tobacco cigarette smoke. Only 10% of the nicotine found in a normal puff from a tobacco cigarette was found in e-cigarette mist.
The conclusion that Health New Zealand came to was that e-cigarettes are cigarette substitutes and that if tobacco cigarette users switch to e-cigarettes that the health of both the smoker and the population will benefit. Although there is no way for any drug to be 100% safe, relative to tobacco cigarette emissions, e-cigarette emissions appear to be several hundred times safer. Health New Zealand also compared the e-cigarette to nicotine inhaler quitting aids, whose safety has never been questioned to the extent the safety of e-cigarettes has.