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Correspondence |

Electronic CigarettesHeating Filament and Lung Toxicity of E-Cigarettes: The Resistance Value of the Heating Filament Could Be the Key to Lung Toxicity FREE TO VIEW

Pierre Chausse, MSc; Geraldine Naughton, PhD; Frédéric Dutheil, MD, PhD
Author and Funding Information

From the Laboratory of Social and Cognitive Psychology (LAPSCO) UMR-CNRS 6024 (Mr Chausse) and Laboratory of Metabolic Adaptations to Exercise in Physiological and Pathological Conditions EA3533 (Mr Chausse and Dr Dutheil), Blaise Pascal University, Clermont Auvergne University; School of Exercise Science (Drs Naughton and Dutheil), Faculty of Health Science, Australian Catholic University; and Preventive and Occupational Medicine (Dr Dutheil), University Hospital of Clermont-Ferrand (CHU).

CORRESPONDENCE TO: Frédéric Dutheil, MD, PhD, Preventive and Occupational Medicine, University Hospital CHU Gabriel Montpied, 58 Rue Montalembert, 63003 Clermont-Ferrand Cedex 1, France; e-mail: fred_dutheil@yahoo.fr


FINANCIAL/NONFINANCIAL DISCLOSURES: The authors have reported to CHEST that no potential conflicts of interest exist with any companies/organizations whose products or services may be discussed in this article.

Reproduction of this article is prohibited without written permission from the American College of Chest Physicians. See online for more details.


Chest. 2015;148(1):e29-e30. doi:10.1378/chest.15-0497
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To the Editor:
In the recently published article by Hurt et al1 in CHEST (December 2014), the minimal scientific evidence for long-term safety of electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) was stated. We believe that e-cigarette product design features may have a considerable impact on health. In particular, the relations behind the heating power of an e-cigarette urgently requires research. The use of e-cigarettes with a higher voltage than 3.3 V and especially 5 V is reported to effectively disseminate formaldehyde.2 Both voltages are common. This dissemination is potentially dangerous for the health of the user and may lead to lung cancer through reactions among the various components contained in the liquid, such as propylene glycol and glycerol. It is important to clarify whether the voltage triggers formaldehyde emission or the heating power.3 Indeed, the heating power of an e-cigarette depends on a combination of the resistance value of the heating filament used and the voltage applied to it through the Joule effect4 as follows:
Power=Voltage2Resistance=[W]=[V]2[Ω] 

However, e-cigarette users can easily obtain filaments called “coil” with different ohmic values. Subsequently, it is possible for a 3.3-V e-cigarette to obtain the same power of a 5-V e-cigarette. Commonly used filament values are between 0.4 and 2 Ω. Figure 1 compares the possible power of a 3.3- and 5-V e-cigarette, depending on the filament value. When evaporation settings are not optimal (eg, when the heating power is too high), it creates a bad feeling called “dry hit” in users.5 This bad feeling may be related to the formation of formaldehyde. Therefore, further studies should investigate these parameters when studying the composition of the smoke released by e-cigarettes.

Figure Jump LinkFigure 1 –  Power of 3.3- and 5-V electronic cigarettes, depending on the filament used.Grahic Jump Location

References

Hurt RD, Murphy JG, Dunn WF. Did we finally slay the evil dragon of cigarette smoking in the late 20th century? Unfortunately, the answer is no—the dragon is still alive and well in the 21st century and living in the third world. Shame on us! Chest. 2014;146(6):1438-1443. [CrossRef] [PubMed]
 
Jensen RP, Luo W, Pankow JF, Strongin RM, Peyton DH. Hidden formaldehyde in e-cigarette aerosols. N Engl J Med. 2015;372(4):392-394. [CrossRef] [PubMed]
 
Zhu J, Li J, Jia J. Effects of thermal processing and various chemical substances on formaldehyde and dimethylamine formation in squidDosidicus gigasJ Sci Food Agric. 2012;92(12):2436-2442. [CrossRef] [PubMed]
 
Joule JP. XXXVIII. On the heat evolved by metallic conductors of electricity, and in the cells of a battery during electrolysis. Philosophical Magazine Series 3. 1841;19(124):260-277. [CrossRef]
 
Farsalinos KE, Spyrou A, Tsimopoulou K, Stefopoulos C, Romagna G, Voudris V. Nicotine absorption from electronic cigarette use: comparison between first and new-generation devices. Sci Rep. 2014;4:4133. [CrossRef] [PubMed]
 

Figures

Figure Jump LinkFigure 1 –  Power of 3.3- and 5-V electronic cigarettes, depending on the filament used.Grahic Jump Location

Tables

References

Hurt RD, Murphy JG, Dunn WF. Did we finally slay the evil dragon of cigarette smoking in the late 20th century? Unfortunately, the answer is no—the dragon is still alive and well in the 21st century and living in the third world. Shame on us! Chest. 2014;146(6):1438-1443. [CrossRef] [PubMed]
 
Jensen RP, Luo W, Pankow JF, Strongin RM, Peyton DH. Hidden formaldehyde in e-cigarette aerosols. N Engl J Med. 2015;372(4):392-394. [CrossRef] [PubMed]
 
Zhu J, Li J, Jia J. Effects of thermal processing and various chemical substances on formaldehyde and dimethylamine formation in squidDosidicus gigasJ Sci Food Agric. 2012;92(12):2436-2442. [CrossRef] [PubMed]
 
Joule JP. XXXVIII. On the heat evolved by metallic conductors of electricity, and in the cells of a battery during electrolysis. Philosophical Magazine Series 3. 1841;19(124):260-277. [CrossRef]
 
Farsalinos KE, Spyrou A, Tsimopoulou K, Stefopoulos C, Romagna G, Voudris V. Nicotine absorption from electronic cigarette use: comparison between first and new-generation devices. Sci Rep. 2014;4:4133. [CrossRef] [PubMed]
 
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