As many as a quarter of USA kids who are using e-cigarettes may be taking them apart and "dripping" - a method that gives them more vapor but a potentially higher hit of nicotine, researchers reported Monday, according to NBC News.
E-cigarettes are often touted as safer alternatives to cigarettes but they've also been tied to a spike in poisonings. Normally, you'd use the e-cigarette's mouthpiece to inhale the nicotine vapor.
Krishnan-Sarin said in general people who use e-cigarettes tend to puff on them throughout the day, and that researchers don't know the short- and long-term consequences of exposing lungs to the vapors.
But dripping the liquid directly on the coils generates far higher temperatures than traditional vaping, leading to greater emissions of harmful chemicals like formaldehyde, acetaldehyde and acetone.
"This study is the first systematic evaluation of the use of dripping among teens", said Suchitra Krishnan-Sarin, a professor in the department of psychiatry at the Yale University School of Medicine and the lead author of the study.
Turns out, 1,100 students tried e-cigarettes and one of four e-cigarette users tried dripping.
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This creates a thicker vapor cloud and many teens say it gives them a better flavor and a stronger hit. Users can modify their e-cigarettes for dripping, or they can buy atomizers built specifically for dripping. Many teens find the "dripping" to be more exciting.
She says, "Exposure to nicotine, especially high levels of nicotine through behaviors like dripping can lead to nicotine addiction". These encourage smoking tricks, where vapor patterns can be produced with thicker clouds, Krishnan-Sarin said. She also said that it is not known how dripping compares to conventional cigarettes in terms of toxicity.
"At the end of the day, I don't think they serve any kind of goal".
Those most likely to drip were males, white teens and those who were more frequent users of e-cigarettes or other tobacco products. "It's a lot of the "do-it-yourself" type guys that are into this". This was showed that more than 20% of them use an alternative vaping technique that can be even more unsafe.
But a new set of experiments performed in the United Kingdom have shown lung tissue is barely affected at all by e-cigarettes - compared to the crippling affect cigarette smoke has one our organs.
Krishnan-Sarin, however, said more research is needed on the long- and short-term effects of e-cigarettes.