While many like electronic cigarettes as a way to step down from using traditional tobacco cigarettes, there are still concerns over the use of vape pens. Many smokers use cartridges filled with flavored oils, some of which have nicotine in them. A vape pen heats the oil with a metal coil that is battery powered. As the coil heats up, it comes into contact with the oil, which is vaporized and inhaled. A recent study showed that those vapors contain high levels of lead and other metals and that users are likely inhaling these toxic metals.
Researchers at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health believe that tiny particles of metal are coming off the coils and getting into the aerosols produced when the oil is heated. Arsenic, lead, and 13 other toxic metals were found in the refill cartridges of vape users in the Baltimore area. The FDA is the agency responsible for regulating the products. Currently, the research into the safety and toxicity of vape pens and oils is inconclusive. Some studies have found them to be better than tobacco cigarettes, but others have found issues with the chemicals used in vape oils.