The e-cigarette and vape industry is still so new, it’s hard to tell what the health side effects of these products might end up being in the future. But now, we have a pretty solid hint that even this newer, supposedly safer method of smoking isn’t good for you. A new study has found that e-cigarette vapor has toxic metals in it, and it’s definitely not anything you’re going to want to put into your body.
According to the study, which was published by the journal Environmental Health Perspectives and conducted by researchers at Johns Hopkins University, this vapor carries metals like lead, chromium, and arsenic, which is terrifying AF. It’s not the liquid inside the vape pen that contains the harmful chemicals — it’s the heating coil that’s causing the problem.
Once that liquid is inside the pen or e-cigarette and gets heated up, the coil emits those metals that are dangerous for the body, and they end up in the aerosol (aka vapor) that you’re pulling into your lungs.
As Mashable pointed out, this discovery means that e-cigarettes aren’t really any better for you than regular cigarettes — and we already know that those lead to lung cancer, heart disease, and a million other terrible health outcomes. Unfortunately, it sounds like those side effects are still possible when vaping…and even if they weren’t, do you really want arsenic in your lungs? Um. Gross.
According to the study’s senior author, Ana María Rule, an assistant scientist in the Bloomberg School’s Department of Environmental Health and Engineering,
Don’t be surprised if this study spawns more like it — and possibly even stricter regulations on vaping and e-cigarettes in the future. This might end up upsetting huge vape fans and those who participate in competitions, but hopefully, these regulations will help keep everyone safer and healthier.
If there was ever a time to quit vaping, that time is now. Breathing in toxic metals sounds harmful enough, but who knows what else a future study might find?