More than one-quarter of teen e-cigarette users said in a survey they had used a practice called “dripping” that could expose them to higher levels of toxic chemicals and nicotine.
The authors of a new study described dripping as “vaporizing the e-liquid at high temperatures by dripping a couple of drops of e-liquid directly onto an atomizer’s coil and then immediately inhaling the vapor that is produced.” It can be done by modifying traditional e-cigarettes or purchasing special ones.
“E-cigarette users use dripping to produce thicker clouds of vapor, a stronger throat hit, and make flavors taste better,” researchers wrote.
The findings were reported in the study “E-Cigarettes and ‘Dripping’ among High School Youth” (Krishnan-Sarin S, et al. Pediatrics. Feb. 6, 2016, http://dx.doi.org/10.1542/peds.2016-3224). They come just two months after the U.S. surgeon general called e-cigarettes a public health threat for youths.
Researchers looked at survey data from 1,080 students from Connecticut high schools who had ever used e-cigarettes and found 26.1% had used e-cigarettes for dripping, 48.7% had never used dripping and 25.2% did not know if they had.
Those most likely to drip were males, white teens and those who were more frequent users of e-cigarettes or other tobacco products.
“Of concern, existing evidence, while limited, suggests that dripping e-liquids may lead to higher levels of non-nicotine toxicant emissions,” according to the study.
Those emissions may include formaldehyde, acetaldehyde and acetone.
The authors called for additional research into the dangers of dripping and more education for youths.