Crikey! What did we wake up to this morning? A lot of hype about this study released today: Hidden Formaldehyde in E-Cigarette Aerosols


This was countered before it was even released by Clive Bates last night. You can check out his site or just read the PDF below. I have attached the PDF at the bottom of this post because a lot of people have been reporting 403 errors on Clive’s site.


Dr Farsalinos has also release this statement: The deception of measuring formaldehyde in e-cigarette aerosol: the difference between laboratory measurements and true exposure about the new study.

Here is what that the news outlets aren’t telling you.

ZERO Formaldehyde was found when the electronic cigarette was used as it was designed. They also do not tell you that they were pushing the limits of the ecigarette and its attached atomizer that they described as a “tank” system.

The study produced not formaldehyde but formaldehyde hemiacetals. According to Dr. Farsalinos there is NO EVIDENCE that hemiacetals are toxic let alone carcinogenic. There is a huge possibility that hemiacetals actually protect against the effects of formaldehyde.

The study references another DERMATOLOGICAL study which has absolutely NO bearing on inhaled formaldehyde.

They don’t tell you that vapers don’t vape the way they imply that we do. We all know what a dry hit tastes like and we don’t KEEP on vaping when it happens! Therefore we are NEVER exposed to the levels they state we are.




Clive Bates clearly outlines his concerns about the study.

This study uses a completely unrealistic puffing regime to create the conditions in which formaldehyde forms with no attempt to calibrate the machine to reflect realistic human use.

That it presents results from extreme and unrealistic operating conditions which are them built into a ‘back of the envelope’ calculation of cancer risk.

That this contrived and artificial cancer risk is misleadingly compared to real human cancer risks associated with smoking.

That the statements about vaping having 5-15 times the incremental cancer risk associated with smoking are provided without context and could easily be misread as implying that vaping is more dangerous than smoking. It would not be the first time that misreporting of formaldehyde findings have created this impression.

This study may repeat the harm done through mischaracterisation of ‘light’ cigarettes by use of unrealistic puffing regimes that did not reflect real human behaviour. The same is likely to apply here, but instead of understating risk of a harmful product, the effect will be to grossly overstate the risk of a relatively benign product – with equally damaging results.



The rest of the story, coordinated and organized? Yet they call us Astroturf?

formaldehyde   Twitter Search
Click to see the full sized image

Many people don’t realize a lot of these sensationalist headlines and quickly written articles are click bait. You can even find websites that tell you how to create click bait headlines and what you can hope to achieve by doing them.


Obviously I was up at the butt crack of dawn this morning so I got to witness the first click baits to roll out onto Twitter. They were coming from NPR and Buzzfeed primarily. What I also happened to notice were the names of the “people” tweeting these links in rapid succession. They were in alphabetical order, coming out at a rate of 1-2 per 30 seconds and saying the exact same thing. While this slowed down over the course of a couple hours, I was actively replying to each and every new formaldehyde tweet but I was paying attention.


Then it struck me as to what was exactly going on. PR firms (most likely) or even the news source themselves had hired out “other people” or people to man fake accounts. You can easily organize a group of people on something like Hootsuite so that you can get a single message out using hundreds if not thousands of various real and fake social media accounts. In fact I was just invited to a job recently, that did just this. You are given a hot topic that the company would like to see go viral or reach as many people as possible. In order to do this, you create a couple tweets with the same message and schedule it to go out through these various accounts either all at the same time or very close together. The social network is then flooded with the keyword, in our case “formaldehyde” and the the link to the source, in our case various reporting news “agencies” like NPR or Buzzfeed, through unsuspecting accounts that LOOK like your average person.


I don’t personally have the time to go through the list and deduce who was real and who wasn’t but the picture to the left can give you a pretty good idea. It is not edited in anyway and is a direct screenshot from the formaldehyde search on twitter, so if you scroll back enough hours, you can even see it for yourself.


Yet here we are vapers being accused of being highly organized and behaving like internet trolls because we come together to defend vaping when shit like this is being produced? Give me a break!





The search is full of the attention grabbing and fear instilling headlines we all anticipated. Now it’s our turn to take it over and fill it with truth.


So get on it vapers and get your tweets in! Use the word formaldehyde, the hash #formaldelies and lets get the truth out there! Counter as many of the tweets as you possibly can. Twitter Formaldehyde Search



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  • Paul Barnes

    This PR bull crap really needs to stop. I missed most of the early stuff, and the ones I’m catching now are actually open minded (mostly) and not outright believing the “study”

  • Liam Bryan

    Very interesting read thanks, that twitter pic is astonishing!

    • Isn’t it though? I think it is very telling about how they get these stories to go viral and out to the masses so quickly.

  • Paul Barnes

    I just trawled back through my replies and found several responses that were either inherently positive or made them question the article – a couple of them were actually Doctors which can only be a bonus!