By Alan Lyndon
One in four high school teens who use electronic cigarettes have tried “dripping” e-liquids directly into the heating coils of the device to produce more intense sensations, according to a new study from Yale University.
Researchers surveyed 7,045 Connecticut high school students and found that more than 26 percent of e-cigarette users were dripping to produce effects including thicker clouds of vapor, better flavor and a stronger throat hit.
While it is still too early to show the negative effects of e-cigarettes and dripping, in particular, the study authors say that applying liquid nicotine directly onto the devices’ atomizers can expose users to higher temperatures and toxic chemicals like formaldehyde, acetaldehyde and acetone.
“Everybody assumes vaping is a safer way (than cigarettes) of administering nicotine, but we know so little about the risks of vaping,” said Suchitra Krishnan-Sarin, professor of psychiatry at Yale and first author of the study.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), electronic vapor products, including e-cigarettes, are now the most commonly used tobacco products among U.S. high school students, surpassing conventional cigarettes in 2014.
Krishnan-Sarin said that people who use e-cigarettes tend to puff on them throughout the day, but researchers don’t know the consequences of exposing lungs to the vapors. White, male teens were most likely to use e-cigs for dripping, according to the study published online in the February 6 edition of the journal Pediatrics.
Shihadeh said that in addition to the other enhanced sensations derived from the procedure, some people prefer dripping because “it allows them to conveniently change from one liquid flavor to another without wasting liquid.”