A recent study by the Yale University School of Medicine found that 1 in 4 teens who vape have engaged in a technique called "dripping". Dripping produces thicker clouds of vapor, gives a stronger sensation in the throat and makes flavors taste better. For drpping, he user of an e-cigarette applies a few drops of liquid directly on the exposed heating coil of the e-cigarette. The result: dripping generates higher heating coil temperatures than conventional use of e-cigarettes -- and this is a safety concern. Higher temperatures lead to greater emissions of a class of harmful chemicals known as volatile aldehydes, which include formaldehyde and acrolein. These chemicals are know to cause cancer in humans, and are associated with COPD, a progressive disease that makes it difficult to breathe.
The rise in temperatures and emissions mean that the user potentially becomes exposes to a much higher level of toxicants, more than what they would be exposed to under conventional e-cig use. As the e-liquid is vaporized at a high temperature, users get a big shot of nicotine.
Inhaling is not the only danger. The handling of the liquid so often during dripping increases the risk of incidental skin contact. Nicotine is absorbed rapidly through the human skin. If enough liquid is spilled, a vaper could potentially be exposed to toxic levels of nicotine. In light of these concerns, there has been a push by the FDA to regulate e-cigarettes the same way it regulates traditional cigarettes and smokeless tobacco.
According to the lead author of the Yale study, we can't just assume e-cigarettes are being used the way everybody thinks they're being used. Touted as a safe alternative to cigarettes, the potential health hazards arising from alternative uses of e-cigarettes and vaping continue to grow.