Ecigs Have Fewer Toxins Than A Spanish Street

Posted 2nd April 2021 by Dave Cross
Cadena de Ondas Populares Españolas, otherwise known as COPE, associated with the number one newspaper in Madrid, is carrying a story about vaping. In it, a professor of chemistry says that driving down any street in Madrid exposes a person to more toxins than vaping an e-cigarette.

The article(1) repeats the fact that vaping is vastly safer than smoking, stating that experts say vaping is at least 90% safer than smoking. It goes on to quote Professor Angel González Ureña, Professor Emeritus of Chemistry and director of the Department of Lasers and Molecular Beams of the Multidisciplinary Institute of the Complutense University, stating the streets of Madrid carry far greater danger than an electronic cigarette.

González Ureña explained that in several experiments, it the relative risk posed to drivers was "absolutely clear".

"We have conducted some experiments here in Madrid, analysing the gases on a normal street, because of traffic, and compared to e-cigarettes and I can tell them that for many chemists if you walk down any street you are exposed to more toxic than if you inhale an e-cigarette. That's for sure," he told COPE.

The piece goes on to cite Peter Harper, who is responsible for oncology at Guy's, King's and St Thomas hospitals in London and now provides advice to the French government on its strategy to combat cancer and tobacco related disease. He told COPE that city pollution causes more problems than the inhalation of ecig vapour.

Harper said the relative risk is simple to ascertain, "because of the absence of combustion" and the "very lower temperature".


"Reducing tobacco harm is not a theory,” Harper continued, “but an experimental fact based on chemical analysis using highly sensitive and high-resolution analytical techniques.”

He detailed how through the use of a gas chromatograph and a mass spectrometer, it has been demonstrated that the levels of toluene, o-xylene, 3R4F and nicotine itself are far lower in vapour than that found in cigarette smoke.

González Ureña went on to explain how the concept of second-hand vape danger didn’t exist because of the “low content in the expelled aerosol”, something Harper agreed with – although the latter did state that low risk didn’t mean no risk.

Their contribution to the debate in Spain will be welcome seeing as the nation has a poor approach to tobacco harm reduction. They called vaping, “the only way forward.”


  1. Catedrático de química dice que ir por la calle en Madrid expone a más tóxicos que un cigarrillo electrónico -

Madrid Image by David Mark from Pixabay

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 Dave Cross
Article by Dave Cross
Freelance writer, physicist, karateka, motorbikes, and dog walker
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