This new study found that vapers are exposed to levels of formaldehyde from e-cigarettes that are up to 15 times the levels associated with regular cigarettes. The lifetime cancer risk from vaping, based on exposure to just this one chemical, was estimated to be up to 15 times the risk seen from smoking cigarettes:
Hidden Formaldehyde In E-Cigarette Aerosols, New England Journal Of Medicine, 22 January 2015
Formaldehyde is an International Agency for Research on Cancer group 1 carcinogen.
Long-term vaping is associated with an incremental lifetime cancer risk … 5 times as high, or even 15 times as high … as the risk associated with long-term smoking. In addition, formaldehyde-releasing agents may deposit more efficiently in the respiratory tract than gaseous formaldehyde, and so they could carry a higher slope factor for cancer.
Big tobacco companies, I imagine, will fight these types of studies the way they fought studies that implicated cigarette smoking in cancer … by inflicting doubt, by pointing to study limitations as flaws, by claiming that risk studies and correlations do not prove cause and effect. Monsanto uses these techniques to push GMOs. Beef and dairy industries use them to push their products. It’s about business and profit, not public health.
The three biggest tobacco companies — Altria (Philip Morris), R.J. Reynolds and Lorillard — are investing heavily in e-cigarettes, creating their own product lines and buying up whole e-cigarette companies.
Our country has spent 50 years working to get smoking out of the public eye, and the tobacco industry has fought these initiatives every step of the way. They are engaged in the e-cigarette fight, too — they are working to persuade individual lawmakers every day.
– Big Tobacco Lurks Behind e-cigarettes