Environmental pollution and emission factors of electronic cigarettes, heat-not-burn tobacco products and conventional cigarette

A.A. Ruprecht, C. De Marco, A. Saffari, P. Pozzi, R. Mazza, C. Veronese, G. Angellotti, E. Munarini, A.C. Ogliari, D. Westerdahl, S. Hasheminassab, M. M. Shafer, J. J. Schauer, J. Repace, C. Sioutas & R. Boffi (2017): Environmental pollution and emission factors of electronic cigarettes, heat-not-burn tobacco products and conventional cigarettes, Aerosol Science and Technology

Comparing second-hand exposure from e-cigarettes and traditional cigarettes

The increasing popularity of electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) and, more recently, the new “heat-not-burn” tobacco products (iQOS) as alternatives to traditional tobacco cigarettes has necessitated further documentation of and research into the composition and potential health risks/benefits of these devices.

In a recent study, published in Aerosol Science and Technology, researchers compared second-hand exposure to particulate metals and organic compounds from e-cigarettes and traditional cigarettes, by conducting continuous and time-integrated measurements in an indoor environment, followed by computing the emission rates of these species using a single-compartment mass balance model.

Researchers used a similar approach to further expand our previous analyses by characterizing black carbon, metal particles, organic compounds and size-segregated particle mass and number concentrations emitted from these devices in addition to the newly marketed iQOS.

iQOS side-stream smoke contains carcinogenic aldehyde compounds

Analysis of the iQOS side-stream smoke indicated that the particulate emission of organic matter from these devices is significantly different depending on the organic compound. While Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs) were mostly non-detectable in the iQOS smoke, certain n-alkanes, organic acids (such as suberic acid, azelaic acid and n-alkanoic acids with carbon numbers between 10–19) as well as levoglucosan were still emitted in substantial levels from iQOS (up to 2–6 mg/hr during a regular smoking regimen). Metal emissions were reduced in iQOS smoke compared to both electronic cigarettes and conventional cigarettes and were mostly similar to the background levels. Another important finding is the presence of carcinogenic aldehyde compounds, including formaldehyde, acetaldehyde and acrolein, in iQOS smoke, although the levels were substantially lower compared to conventional cigarettes.

Read the full study

Image credit: vaping360.com/iqos-philip-morris//e-cigarettes/