Question re: E-Cigarette Vapor

Hello everyone. Newbie here. My question is, does the exhaled vapor from an electronic cigarette leave a “nicotine residue” on walls, painted surfaces, furniture, etc. like real cigarettes do? Thank you in advance for your assistance.

If it does, it would take a bloodhound to detect it. I’ve “vaped” for about 5 months now and done it around the most anti-smoking Nazi nostrils in the world (Mom) and she has no problem with it in her house. I know that anecdote doesn’t equal evidence, but I’ve yet to hear a person offended by my vaping.

Based on everything I know about nicotine vaporizers, I can’t see how the exhaled vapor is any worse than your normal exhaled breath. Except having perhaps a little more H2O content in it.

Your walls will be fine.

The residue you see on walls is primarily composed of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, or as they are known colloqually, “tar”. This substance is a concentrated form of the natural pitch in the leaves of Nicotiana and is a resinous constituant of the vapor which is responsible for the majority of deleritous effects of smoking tobacco. It is the lagest single bioreactive naturally appearing component of tobacco, although many curative processes and additives increase other constituants such as sugars.

I cannot find any reference that describes the natural color or condition of nicotine, but the salts of nicotine (formed to use the substance as a pesticide or pharmuceutucal) are white, and comprise about 0.5% of total dry mass in uncured tobacco, and up to 3% in processed tobacco. So it isn’t a major constituant in terms of mass and resulting residue. Also, because of its absorbtivity into lung and mucous tissue, and the fact that an e-cigarette doesn’t constantly elease emissions the way a smouldering cigarette does, the amount of released (“secondhand”) nicotine is likely at low levels compared to normal smoking.

E-cigarettes are still not good for you, but significantly less so than conventional cigarettes (at least insofar as the tar is concerned) and certainly less harmful and annoying to everyone around you.


Not to hijack, but how so? Because of nicotine? Is that any more or less dangerous than caffeine?

Or are there other substances you are referring to in E-Cigs? If this is too much of a hijack, I will start a new thread…

The median lethal dose (LD[SUB]50[/SUB]) for caffeine is 127 mg/kg (oral, human); the equivilant of about 70-80 cups. The LD[SUB]50[/SUB] for nicotine is 3.4 mg/kg. The variability in nicotine delivered by cigarette is difficult to quantify, but as it is delivered directly into the bloodstream by mucus and lung tissue any time dependent effects are exaggerated. The carcenogenic and teratogenic properties of both substances are still being investigated, but nicotine is strongly linked to birth defects and developmental disorders.

So, yes, e-cigarettes are not good for you. Neither are nicotine patches or gum. However, if used IAW with directions they are less harmful than smoking tobacco.


That the LD[sub]50[/sub] of nicotine is lower than that of caffeine doesn’t prove that e-cigarettes are not good for you, and in the case of adults the link to birth defects and developmental disorders is irrelevant.

I’m not arguing that they aren’t bad for you, but your evidence doesn’t support the claim.

The median lethal dose is the exposure threshold at which a 50% mortality rate is expected. It is a standard method of comparing the basic toxicity of different chemicals. Nicotine is strong alkaloid and a parasympathomimetic neurotoxin. The fact that it is also strongly linked to birth defects and developmental disorders indicates that it has other bioreactive epigenic properties. There is no question that e-cigarettes or any other form of nicotine ingestion is bad for you. The degree to which it is harmful is questionable and there is insufficient data to assess long term effects, but that it is essentially unhealthy is not even in question.


I’ve read the whole thread twice and almost went blind with confusion. :slight_smile: So is ingestion of nicotine, by itself, worse or better than caffeine when an adult ingests it through an electronic cigarette?

Nicotine is more toxic by weight than caffeine. How nicotine compares via aeosol injestion via e-cigarette versus caffeine via coffee or tea depends on not only quantity consumed but the efficacy by which it is metabolized. So, there isn’t a simple yes-or-no answer to your question.


Real cigarettes do not leave a “nicotine residue.” The residue is simply the same particulate matter which occurs when most materials are burned. Soot, tar, carbon, and the like.

The nicotine is absorbed into the lungs of the smoker, almost entirely. There are trace amounts, probably, in the exhale - as well as in the smoke from the cig while it’s burning. It’s an insignificant amount.

The e-cig doesn’t burn anything. And since the vaporization of the liquid occurs only when the user is inhaling, there is no significant amount of nicotine remaining in the vapor. The vapor also does not contain any of the same particulate matter as smoke because it is not smoke. It is, for all practical purposes, water vapor and little else.

I have not noticed any staining in the house or car in 13 month’s.

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