A Response From Dr David Dawit (PhD)
Chief Scientific Officer, Eos Scientific
Recent articles in the media, based on the findings of scientists at University of Athens, have made claims about eliquid toxicity. But when scrutinised closely it shouldn’t be taken as a comprehensive study on eliquids.
The study is a toxicological assessment of one product, rather than a representation of eliquid. No rational was given why only the product tested was chosen among thousands of eliquid products.
Highly Misleading and Sweeping Conclusions on Eliquid Toxicity
It is also highly misleading and incorrect to reach such sweeping conclusions based on tests done on only one product as if it was a representative of all other eliquid products. No effort was done to see if the results could be different with other flavours.
The chemical characterisation done on this particular product and quoted in the paper, Farsalinos K, Gillman I, Melvin M, Paolantonio A, Gardow W, Humphries K, Brown S, Poulas K, and Voudris V. Nicotine Levels and Presence of Selected Tobacco-Derived Toxins in Tobacco Flavoured Electronic Cigarette Refill Liquids. Int J Environ Res Public Health 12: 3439-3452, 2015, clearly shows this particular product does contain ingredients albeit at low concentrations that are banned by the TPD; namely, Formaldehyde, Acetaldehyde and Tobacco Specific Nitrosamines (which are carcinogenic).
If this product was tested in our lab it wouldn’t have passed the criteria on eliquid toxicity put forward by the TPD. (https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/682739/Ingredient_guidance_final_draft_011116.pdf).
Rigorous Testing of all Eliquid Products
As an establishment that tests eliquid we fully understand and advocate the rigorous testing of all eliquid products, whether they contain nicotine or not before they are sold to the public.
The general consensus based on proper scientific research conducted to date that eliquids are safer than cigarette smoking is widely accepted by both health professionals and scientists in the field.
Nothing will be one hundred percent safe but consumers need to be provided with alternatives to cigarette smoking that will reduce health risks and can also be used as aid to quit smoking. In this regard electronic cigarettes have shown a great potential.
Not All Eliquids Are Created Equal
But not all eliquids are created equal. There are eliquids in the market that haven’t been tested thoroughly and contain chemicals that could pose health risks.
The media should critically evaluate the merits and validity of claims of each study by consulting experts in the field before writing articles that can do a great disservice to smokers who are looking for alternatives to reduce health risks associated with smoking.
Dr David Dawit (PhD), Chief Scientific Officer