Formaldehyde Sounds Scary Doesn’t It?

The recent story in the New York Times stating that formaldehyde was found in eCigarette vapor has put a lot of ammunition back into the weapons of the anti-vaping crowd.

Even once steadfast believers in eCigarettes that I know personally are freaked out about discovering low levels of formaldehyde in our vapor. One friend of mine even stopped vaping over the weekend, vowing never to vape again…or smoke cigarettes (thank god for that at least). When I told her that she exhales formaldehyde with every breath, regardless of vaping it only served to freak her out even more. I wouldn’t be at all surprised if she was trying to come up with a way to stop breathing altogether.

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So what about this formaldehyde thing? Is it something we need to worry about?

Dr. Farasalinos has some very interesting information about the details of the study, and some common sense advice about vaping in general. Read the article, its short, to the point, and should calm anyone that’s overly concerned with the Times article.

What I Think

Vaping is safe enough. You won’t die from vaping unless you vape carelessly, with little regard for what you’re doing. However, even I have changed my mind about a couple of things, at least until I learn more about it.

I won’t vape beyond 4.8v with 2.2-ohm atomizer, as the good Dr. seems to recommend with this paragraph; “At 3.2 and 4.0 volts, formaldehyde levels were 13-807 times lower compared to tobacco cigarettes!! At 4.8 volts, formaldehyde levels were increased by up to 200 times, and reached to levels similar to tobacco cigarettes.” I rarely vape higher than 4.1-4.5v anyway, so for now on I just won’t vape like that at all. I’ll also keep my clearomizers and tanks topped off as well. Maybe I’ll pay a little more attention to the math too. But, anything more seems like an overreaction, no?

At Straws

People against vaping are grasping at anything that will bolster their side. This has always been the case, and now they have something that just might cause some damage, or at least bolster their argument… for a while.

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I have always tried to live by the rule that before I believe anything I have to make sure to get the whole story before coming down on either side of an issue. I’m not always able to do that, but more often than not I do. It has served me well these past 31 years. I highly recommend it. When I first read the Times piece that bit of internal training kicked in and I knew I had to wait at least a few days for some expert to examine what was done, how it was done, and what it really means. We all owe Dr. Farasalinos a bit of gratitude for explaining the study in a matter of 48 hours or less.

This Times Article has not shaken my faith in vaping. Nor have any of the recent studies where anti-vaping groups grab the tiniest bit of negative information and make a big deal out of it, but I will keep an open mind. Hopefully more about this subject, and others, will be put to the test in short order. But for now, reading Dr. Farasalinos article, I don’t think it’s a bad idea for anyone concerned about being exposed to too much formaldehyde to stay under the 4.8v level, and to buy eLiquid from reputable vendors.

Spinfuel’s Vaper’s News (or Spinfuel News Blog)

I first heard about the formaldehyde story in our own Vaper’s News website. We started the Spinfuel Vaper’s News in an effort to present every negative, and positive, news article coming out every day about eCigarettes. We’ve taken quite a bit of heat from vapers on Facebook letting us know they don’t want to be blasted with all the negative, biased, and flat out stupid articles being published daily with the sole purpose of bashing vaping and electronic cigarettes. Don’t get me wrong, most of the people that follow us on Facebook appreciate the postings, but there are some that don’t want to hear about it. I can’t blame them, it’s depressing, but I think they are missing the point on why we do it.

Paying attention to as many of these negative reports is, I think, a good idea. As misleading as the vast majority of these articles are, a lot of your non-vaping, non-smoking friends are hearing about these lies and reacting to them. Can it be too long before strangers begin to give us unwarranted, and unwanted advice about vaping? “Haven’t you heard? Vaping is even more dangerous than smoking!” Can’t wait for that, huh?

I can assume that like Keira and I you have friends now that “tsk tsk” you about vaping, and suggesting that you just give it up. There are lots of vapers that do want to stop vaping at some point, and they are working hard to lower the nicotine content in their eLiquids so they can eventually quit. That’s great, I wish them all the success in the world, but Keira and I, and I suspect a good many of you, are not looking to quit anytime soon, or at all. Vaping gives Keira and I too much pleasure, and satisfaction, so to quit something that we both believe is basically harmless is foolish at this point. Maybe vaping isn’t 100% harmless but it is harmless enough not to worry about it…in our opinion.

In any case, I definitely recommend that every vaper out there read as many articles as they reasonably can. We should not just be looking for pro-vaping stories. If we all did that the Formaldehyde story would have been completely ignored. I’m glad it wasn’t.

The Evil Axis

And, let us all remember; we are at the mercy of scientists, reporters, and even governments, when it comes to discovering the real truth about vaping. It hasn’t been around long enough to know for sure what will happen 20-25 years down the road. Knowing what I think I know tells me that the more scientific, unbiased studies we have will ultimately rule out any real harm, and I hope those studies aren’t covered up as they are released to the public. The sad thing is that if there is going to be a cover up by journalists who are clearly no longer truth seekers, they could very well be covered up or at least slanted to make vaping look bad when it really isn’t.

The evidence we have today, empirical and/or scientific, anecdotal and statistical, all point to eCigarettes still being infinitely safer than smoking tobacco. If that changes, if longer term studies, reputable, science-based studies discover that vaping can kill just as fast as tobacco then you and I should know about it. I don’t believe that day will come, but on the tiniest chance that it will we will need to take a serious look at what we’re doing…especially the hobbyists, and that includes everyone here at Spinfuel… hobbyists all.

I have faith, but I’m no zealot.

Julia Hartley-Barnes

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