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Friday, December 23, 2016

Is Nicotine Vapor Radioactive?

It's no secret that tobacco contains Polonium-210 and Lead-210, ionizing radiation. Wait, what? You didn't know that? It is common knowledge in the scientific community. Even the CDC now talks about it. But I believe the scientific community has known since 1961...

So, the nicotine juice for vaping comes from the same tobacco used in cigarettes, and a more potent variety used for smokeless tobacco (dip), Rustica. A casual analysis tells us that the radioactivity is still present in vapor products, although it's likely that it's there at a lower level. There remains a possibility that it is concentrated, however. The only thing we can be sure of is that no effort is made to remove it, if that's even possible.

So, while vaping removes the carbon monoxide aspect present from smoking tobacco, it likely includes the radioactivity element, as well as particulate metals from the vape units. Possibly a net gain, from a health standpoint, but also not a panacea in regard to making nicotine use healthy.

While I'd love to pay for an independent analysis of vapor in order to fully answer this question, I feel safe in concluding that, yes, nicotine vapor is radioactive. Curiously, Google Scholar has no such studies available at present, which I find to be unusual, given that vaping is such a hot topic in the past few years.