Inside Out returns with an investigation into e-cigarettes

Actor Chris Connel vaping his custom built e-cigarette Vaping is becoming a much more common sight but is it a safe way to get a nicotine hit?

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Inside Out returns on Monday, 1 September 2014 with a shocking report into what we found in e-cigarettes.

The North East in particular has a very bad record when it comes to smoking related deaths. Many believe switching to e-cigarettes could help to turn that around.

However when we put a sample of four e-liquids to the test, one of them returned a disturbing result.

Graphic showing relative smoking death rates across England and Wales The North East is one of the worst areas for smoking related deaths

The butterscotch flavour sold under the VIP brand was found to contain diacetyl.

Whilst it is safe to eat, it is harmful if inhaled, which of course is exactly what happens when you are vaping.

The chemical is known to have caused "popcorn workers' lung". It's a condition found in those who work in the popcorn industry and in come cases is so serious it leads to the need for a transplant.

E-cigarettes divide opinion

When we told VIP about our findings they confirmed that they had also found it in their testing and the product had been withdrawn from sale.

They said they were "disappointed" that we were able to purchase it and were taking the issue very seriously.

Dr Graham Burns Tyneside respiratory physician Dr Graham Burns

Some medics believe that vaping has got to be much less harmful than cigarettes themselves because they contain far fewer harmful elements.

However, Tyneside respiratory physician Dr Graham Burns argues if Inside Out found a rogue chemical in one random sample how can anyone be sure of what's in the many other e-cigarette products available on the market?

Inside Out is broadcast on BBC One in the North East & Cumbria at 19:30 BST on Monday, 1 September 2014 and for seven days on the BBC iPlayer.

Chris Jackson Article written by Chris Jackson Chris Jackson Presenter, Inside Out, North East & Cumbria

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  • rate this

    Comment number 11.

    Many people will be put off switching because of the Diacetyl scare going around the media at the moment and thats a bad thing.

    You can't lower the risk profile of cigarettes, but you can lower the risk with vapour products.

  • rate this

    Comment number 10.

    The risk of Diacetyl in eliquid has been known for some time and manufacturers are working to remove it from their supply chains. However, it should be noted that Diacetyl is also found, at much higher levels, in Tobacco cigarettes, so the actual risk needs to be taken in the context of smoking. Further info here:

  • rate this

    Comment number 9.

    Is the investigation looking at the 'cigalikes', or is it looking at eliquid, or both? The cigalike devices put out by the Big Tobacco companies serve no purpose other than to make smokers NOT want to quit. Eliquid for battery and tank systems, should be made with medical grade nicotine and USP Food Grade flavoring and other components. NOTHING else needs to be in eliquid.

  • rate this

    Comment number 8.

    The most telling information is to be found by reading reports by such as the RCP and recent research done by Professor Robert West of UCL.

    The whole thing needs regulating much as any other consumable, but sensibly, and without ruining the best method yet to give up smoking.

  • rate this

    Comment number 7.

    If everything is bought from reliable and responsible suppliers using products from equally responsible, knowledgeable manufacturers, there should be little need to worry. Trace amounts are probably not harmful anyway, but best eliminated
    Flavouring manufacturers are working hard to eliminate the substances referred to: diacetyl, acetoin, or acetyl propionyl, some of which can occur naturally.


Comments 5 of 11



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