BBC News

Inside Out returns with an investigation into e-cigarettes

Chris Jackson
Presenter, Inside Out, North East & Cumbria

image captionVaping is becoming a much more common sight but is it a safe way to get a nicotine hit?

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.

image captionThe 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.

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we told VIP about our findings they confirmed that they had also found it in their testing and the product had been withdrawn from sale.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

image captionTyneside 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.

More on this story

  • E-cigarette indoor ban call from WHO