VAPE clouds break down within seconds to allow air quality to return to normal levels – while cigarettes can take up to 45 minutes, new research has found.
Despite the plumes of vape e-cigarettes can create, causing some non-users to worry about its impact on the environment, researchers found particles evaporate almost instantly, even indoors.
Even in the “worst case scenario”, where there was no ventilation, researchers found particle counts quickly returned to background levels in trials with commercially available vapes.
In stark contrast, the new study – which pitted e-cigarettes against their traditional counterparts to gauge how well they performed in indoor spaces – found air quality after someone has smoked a cigarette can take 30 to 45 to return to normal.
Researchers also found that unlike vaping, particle concentrations in the surrounding air, increased with every puff.
The new data adds to the growing body of evidence that vaping indoors is “unlikely to pose an air quality issue,” according to the research team.
The new study comes as part of a collaboration between Kaunas University of Technology in Lithuania, the Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology, ETH Zurich and Fontem Ventures.
Participants, who were already regular vapers, were tasked with using their devices under varying conditions of ventilation.
Researchers then measured how particle concentrations changed in the surrounding air.
Within seconds, the researchers found the liquid aerosol droplets evaporated, bringing the space quickly back to the normal levels.
Dr Grant O’Connell, Corporate Affairs Manager at Fontem Ventures, said: “No accumulation of particles was registered in the room following subjects’ vaping.
“This shows us how fundamentally different exhaled e-vapor particles are compared to those released when smoking conventional cigarettes, the latter of which linger in the air for longer periods of time.”
Immediately after the participants exhaled, the researchers say particle concentrations for e-cigarettes were in the same order of magnitude as those seen with traditional cigarettes.
But it was in their decay that the largest difference was evident.
Dr O’Connell explained: “Exhaled e-vapour aerosol particles have a different chemical composition to a cigarette smoke and here we show the physical properties are also significantly different.
“This data adds to the growing body of evidence that vaping indoors is unlikely to pose an air quality issue.”
The news comes just a few weeks after another US city introduced an indoor vaping ban, meaning e-cigarettes are forbidden in restaurants, bars, shops and businesses – even vape stores.
City chiefs in Milwaukee joined a growing movement across America of extending the same rules for smoking cigarettes to vaping, meaning violators now face fines starting at $100.