Health & Studies

Stealthy Research Shocker

The research funding gravy train gifted Penn State College of Medicine staff funds to conduct another pointless study looking at stealth vaping

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Researchers at the Department of Medicine and the Department of Public Health Sciences at Penn State College of Medicine have demonstrated that there is too much money sloshing about for lightweight studies. The Pennsylvanian sextet concluded that where vaping is banned, vapers often stealth-vape.

In “E-cigarette users commonly stealth vape in places where e-cigarette use is prohibited”, the team begins with conflation from the outset: “Smoke-free air policies protect non-smokers from hazardous secondhand tobacco smoke, promote quitting and smoking reduction among current smokers, and discourage initiation among youth.”

They have to talk about smoke-free policies around the world because, “a new tobacco product called an electronic cigarette (e-cigarette, e-cig) has become increasingly popular”.

Then, “One potential behaviour to cope with restricted e-cigarette use is to ‘stealth vape’, the practice of vaping discreetly in places where use is known to be banned, including holding the vapour in their mouth long enough to allow it to dissipate before exhaling.”

Of course, this behaviour that they haven’t been able to detect by sight or smell causes them concern…and not because they desperately wanted to obtain a grant to investigate it.

No, they worry about us: “stealth vaping allows nicotine-dependent users to use their e-cigarette more frequently, which could cause greater dependence.”

How much more frequently, the measure of dependence and firming up “could” are left hanging unanswered.

Also, “stealth vaping may impact bystanders who could potentially be exposed to harmful chemicals in secondhand vapour.”

Can’t see it, can’t hear it, can’t smell it…and nothing is apparently exhaled…but this is meant to pose some kind of risk despite the concept of second-hand vape being laughed out of the room by genuine experts.

“Finally,” they continue, despite falling numbers of smoking and teen vaping rates, “stealth vaping may have the potential to change social norms and promote e-cigarette use among non-users and youth.”

Sorry chaps, this is a boat you’ve missed. This is pure fantasy non-science.

1863 participants were asked: “‘Have you ever ‘stealth vaped’, that is to say, used an e-cigarette in a public place where it was not approved and attempted to conceal your e-cigarette use? (yes/no)”.

The most common places to stealth vape:

  • Work (46.8%)
  • Bars/nightclubs (42.1%)
  • Restaurants (37.7%)
  • Cinema (35.4%)
  • At the airport/on an airplane (11.8%)
  • Shopping (6.7%)

The geniuses also discovered that one of the “predictors of stealth vaping included owning a smaller device specifically for stealth vaping”.

The study was so light they didn’t even discover, “how often users frequented each location; thus, we were unable to determine if stealth vaping was related to time spent at a location”.

“In conclusion, these findings suggest that stealth vaping is a common behaviour for many experienced e-cigarette users.”


  • “E-cigarette users commonly stealth vape in places where e-cigarette use is prohibited” by Yingst, Lester, Veldheer, Allen, Du and Foulds - [link]
Dave Cross avatar

Dave Cross

Journalist at POTV
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Dave is a freelance writer; with articles on music, motorbikes, football, pop-science, vaping and tobacco harm reduction in Sounds, Melody Maker, UBG, AWoL, Bike, When Saturday Comes, Vape News Magazine, and syndicated across the Johnston Press group. He was published in an anthology of “Greatest Football Writing”, but still believes this was a mistake. Dave contributes sketches to comedy shows and used to co-host a radio sketch show. He’s worked with numerous vape companies to develop content for their websites.

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