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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(4), 382; doi:10.3390/ijerph14040382

A Comparative Health Risk Assessment of Electronic Cigarettes and Conventional Cigarettes

1
National Institute for Health Innovation, School of Population Health, Faculty of Medical and Health Science, University of Auckland, Auckland 1010, New Zealand
2
School of Population Health, Faculty of Medical and Health Science, University of Auckland, Auckland 1010, New Zealand
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Zubair Kabir
Received: 27 February 2017 / Revised: 27 March 2017 / Accepted: 30 March 2017 / Published: 5 April 2017
(This article belongs to the Section Global Health)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [560 KB, uploaded 5 April 2017]   |  

Abstract

Background: Although some studies have identified hazardous substances in electronic cigarette (EC) liquids and emissions, there is limited information about the health risks of using ECs. Methods: In this study, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) health risk assessment model and findings of a literature review were used to determine and profile hazards. Focus was put on the toxicants reported in the literature on conventional cigarette (CC) smoke that most strongly associated with adverse health effects. To evaluate their health risks, dose-response relationships and standard-use conditions were used to estimate average hazard exposures and to calculate the overall health risks of ECs and CCs, benchmarked against international guideline levels for each hazard. Results: Four hazards (acrolein, diethylene glycol, propylene glycol and cadmium) reported in EC emissions and seven hazards (acetaldehyde, acrolein, formaldehyde, cadmium, CO, 4-(methylnitrosamino)-1-(3-pyridyl)-1-butanone (NNK), N′-nitrosonornicotine (NNN)) reported in CC emissions had maximum exposure levels higher than the guideline levels. Two hazards (acrolein, propylene glycol) in EC emissions and five hazards (acetaldehyde, acrolein, formaldehyde, cadmium, NNN) in CC emissions had average exposure levels higher than the guideline levels. Conclusions: Based on the conditions of use, ECs should be a safer nicotine-delivery product than CCs. View Full-Text
Keywords: tobacco control; electronic cigarettes; toxicology; comparative risk; risk assessment tobacco control; electronic cigarettes; toxicology; comparative risk; risk assessment
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Chen, J.; Bullen, C.; Dirks, K. A Comparative Health Risk Assessment of Electronic Cigarettes and Conventional Cigarettes. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14, 382.

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