HARTFORD, CT (WFSB) - Electronic cigarettes have become the new smoking alternative, but according to a new study, it could actually be more harmful than the average cigarette.
The reason, according to the New England Journal of Medicine, is cancer-causing formaldehyde. It's known to be used as an embalming fluid, and is used in flues for some products like particle board.
It's also, according to researchers, the reason e-cigarettes can be more deadly than a regular smoke.
Bill Genovese said he was a heavy smoker for years until he made the switch to e-cigarettes.
“I used to smoke two packs of Marlboro a day and I switched over to e-cigarettes two years ago,” Genovese said.
He said he feels better because of the switch.
“I feel healthier smoking these,” he said. “I'm not out of breath like I was with regular cigarettes.”
However, researchers said the vapor can cause cancer up to 15 times more than a regular cigarette.
Local doctors called the study scary.
Users can adjust the heat in some e-cigarettes, which researchers said appears to be the problem. The device opens so users can pour in their own fluid, then adjust the temperature.
Experts said they found that the higher the temperature, the higher the risk of a formaldehyde-releasing agent.
“The take home is we don't have the data, we don't know how safe this is and you're putting it in these lungs and I caution people to use these and do the treatments we know about,” said Dr. J. Craig Allen, medical director at Rushford.
The American Vaping Associating claimed the study is not correct because users would not adjust the temperature that high.
If smokers want to quit the habit, they recommend other options like nicotine replacement therapy or medication.