Adolescent Exposure to Toxic Volatile Organic Chemicals From E-Cigarettes

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Published: 2018

Resource Notes:

Abstract Conclusions: Although e-cigarette vapor may be less hazardous than tobacco smoke, our findings can be used to challenge the idea that e-cigarette vapor is safe, because many of the volatile organic compounds we identified are carcinogenic. Messaging to teenagers should include warnings about the potential risk from toxic exposure to carcinogenic compounds generated by these products.


See comment By Jorge Andres Delgado-Ron:

1) “Authors were very careful to select e-cigarette-only users (they even established their elegibility by measuring the levels of urine NNAL). But they did not recruit a comparisson group composed of cigarette-only users. Being able to compare both groups is important because E-Cigarettes are advertised as an alternative to cigarettes–the carcinogenic hazards of cigarette consumption are well established–not as an alternative to dual use. Having measured the levels of volatile organic compounds in cigarette-only users, we would know by how much e-cigarettes reduce the levels of VOC compared with cigarettes in teenagers. The authors cited a study using this design, suggesting they deliberately decided not to have such comparisson group.”

2. “The study does not tell the reader the levels at which these volatile organic compounds start being toxic. This information is crucial to understand the importance of the findings. While a statistical analysis is useful, toxicity can be better assessed by using a population-level measure of toxicity. If such information is not yet available, it should be mentioned.”

Publishing Source:



Mark L. Rubinstein, MD, Kevin Delucchi, PhD, Neal L. Benowitz, MD, Danielle E. Ramo, PhD


Mark L. Rubinstein, Kevin Delucchi, Neal L. Benowitz, Danielle E. Ramo. Adolescent Exposure to Toxic Volatile Organic Chemicals From E-Cigarettes. Pediatrics Apr 2018, 141 (4) e20173557; DOI: 10.1542/peds.2017-3557