February 28, 2016 3 min read

In this series I've written that cigarette smokers who visit our vape shop often have some concerns having a combination of:

  1. I smoke and I don't like it.
  2. I am interested in switching to vaping but I have heard some frightening things about it.
  3. They then list out some combination of the same concerns about the ecig vapor containing dangerous levels of:
    • Formaldehyde
    • Diacetyl
    • Heavy Metals

On February 23, I posted a blog titled “The Formaldehyde Scare”


And on March 2nd I posted a follow-up called “The Diacetyl Scare”


Today, in this message completing the series, I would like to share what I talk with them about in regards to the heavy metal scare.


It Makes Me Sick

The first thing I tell them is that, of the three ecig scare topics, the Heavy Metal propaganda makes me the most sick to my stomach.


Incredible Distortions

Dr. Mercola, a well know alternate medicine proponent, has published on his website a well crafted but unscientific diatribe about ecigs.  I use it here because it epitomized many of the anti-vaping publications available on the web. Here is a link to the article but be warned it could make you feel sick.



The Real Science

Gregory Conley

Gregory Conley, President of the American Vaping Association, said the level of heavy metals and other chemicals in e-cigarette vapor are less than that of inhalable products other than cigarettes, in particular the FDA-approved Nicorette Inhaler that's used to help people quit smoking.



Arian Saffari

Journal of Environment Science (Saffari et al., PMID: 25180481) further concludes: "Overall, with the exception of Ni, Zn, and Ag, the consumption of e-cigarettes resulted in a remarkable decrease in exposure to all metals and organic compounds. Implementing quality control protocols on the manufacture of e-cigarettes would further minimize the emission of metals from these devices and improve their safety and associated health effects."



Professor Peter Hajek

Peter Hajek, a professor of clinical psychology at Barts and The London Queen Mary's School of Medicine and Dentistry at the University of London who studies tobacco risks, is not worried by the levels of heavy metals in the e-cig vapor - "The studies shows that regarding the most dangerous chemicals released by tobacco smoke, e-cigarette vapor contains none. Other chemicals it does contain are a small fraction of those from cigarettes, and the metal compounds it releases are at levels unlikely to pose a risk. The conclusion should be that e-cig vapor is unlikely to pose any risk. This tallies with other studies conducted so far."



Professor Riccardo Polosa

Riccardo Polosa, a world expert in tobacco addiction and respiratory medicine who has also carried out research into electronic cigarettes, says "Current findings indicate that e-cigarettes are by far less harmful than tobacco cigarettes. First, levels of metals found in these studies are well below the maximum permissible daily exposure from inhalational medications according to the US Pharmacopeia. Second, although the levels found in e-cigarettes may pose some residual risk, it is by far lower compared to tobacco cigarettes. Please keep in mind that cigarette smoke contains a cocktail of more than 7000 toxic chemicals with more than 40 recognized carcinogenic substances and focusing on trace levels of metals does not create significant health advantage, but only alarmistic headlines."



Dr. Farsalinos

Dr. Konstantinos Farsalinos is a cardiologist working as a researcher at Onassis Cardiac Surgery Center in Athens-Greece and at Medical Imaging Research Center, University Hospital Gathuisberg in Leuven-Belgium. He had this to say on the subject - “It seems that the amount of exposure to harmful substances is far less compared to tobacco cigarettes. Let us not forget that several other toxic chemicals (nitrosamines, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, free-radicals) are present in tobacco cigarettes and are blamed for promoting disease, and these were not addressed in this study. I have always maintained the opinion that we should search for the safest possible product, even though we expect every e-cigarette to be safer than tobacco.”


Closing Thoughts

Ecigs do not have a heavy metal issue. I believe that ecigs present the greatest technological advance in public health in recent history.  For that reason we have started to support the movement to save a billion lives, one smoker at a time.

To that end I simple can’t let the misinformation about ecigs go unchallenged.

Thank you for reading this article.


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