Yale study: More teens using unsafe vaping method

A new study finds that one in four teens that use electronic cigarettes have tried "dripping" liquid nicotine onto the heating coils of the e-cigs, which results in thicker clouds of vapor.

The potentially unsafe vaping method of dripping involves dropping liquid nicotine directly onto the e-cigarette's hot coils to produce thicker and more flavorful smoke. In normal vaping, a cartridge of juice feeds a wick that that goes into heated coils. Dripping exposes users to higher levels of nicotine, as well as to harmful toxins such as formaldehyde and acetaldehyde - both known carcinogens.

Krishnan-Sarin said more research is needed to figure out if dripping is something tried once or occasionally, or if kids regularly drip - a question not asked in the survey. Most often, teens did this to produce thicker clouds of vapor, though they sometimes tried dripping to enhance flavors of the liquid nicotine or to heighten the feeling of smoke inhalation in the throat or lungs. More than 26% of those who'd tried vaping also reported dripping.

American Academy of Pediatrics also released a study that can be found, here.

"Dripping" involves dripping e-liquids directly onto heating coils, instead of inhaling from the e-cigarette mouthpiece.

Funding for it was provided by the National Institutes of Health and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration Center for Tobacco Products.

Story called e-cigarettes an adult product but said he would rather see a teenager use an e-cigarette than a traditional cigarette.

In an unrelated study previous year, Shihadeh and his colleagues approximated realistic dripping scenarios under laboratory conditions and then measured temperatures and emissions. One of the primary concerns about e-cigarette use in teens is increased exposure to nicotine, Krishnan-Sarin said.

More important, as puffing progresses and liquid is consumed, the temperatures and emissions rise "drastically", Shihadeh said.

Teens are the main users of e-cigarettes. Users believe they can detect when conditions have shifted by a change in flavor, he explained, but by the time they "taste the difference, they very likely have already been exposed to much higher levels of these toxicants" than would have happened under conventional e-cig use.

"Adolescents should not be using nicotine at all", Wilson said.

Not all e-cigarette products contain nicotine, but increased nicotine levels can lead to stronger throat hits.