According to a recent Yale University study, people who vape e-cigarettes could inhale enough alcohol to impair motor skills, depending on how much alcohol is contained in the liquid of an e-cig.
The study, performed by Yale’s School of Medicine, had people vape two different types of e-cigs; one that had .4 percent of alcohol and another that had 23.5 percent.
The study showed that some people who vaped e-cigs that contained high levels of alcohol performed poorly in tests on their motor skills, as well as had detectable levels of alcohol in their urine. The study also noted that those studied did not feel impaired after smoking the e-cigarettes.
While the study found that the liquid contained in 75 percent of commercially produced e-cigarettes had less than 1 percent of alcohol, some e-cigs have a much higher proportion of alcohol. Because e-cigarettes are not regulated, it is hard for consumers to know exactly how much alcohol content is in the product.
Another cause for concern, according to the study, is the presence of alcohol reinforcing the addictive properties of both the nicotine and alcohol in the e-cig.
“Given the widespread and unregulated use of e-cigarettes, especially by youth and other vulnerable populations, further studies are needed to evaluate both the acute safety and long-term health risks of using alcohol-containing e-cigarettes,” said Mehmet Sofuoglu, of Yale’s Department of Psychiatry and VA Connecticut Healthcare system, who is senior author of the study.
According to Yale, the study was funded by the New England Mental Illness Research Education Clinical, Centers, the Department of Veterans Affairs, the National Institute for Drug Abuse and FDA Center for Tobacco Products.
The study does not suggest whether e-cigarettes are more or less dangerous than traditional tobacco cigarettes.
Justin Boggs is a writer for the E.W. Scripps National Desk. Follow him on Twitter @jjboggs.