Carbon Monoxide – Debunking The Myths!

Among the dangerous chemicals dispelled by cigarette smoke is carbon monoxide. Inhaling it disrupts your body’s ability to efficiently deliver oxygen when it mixes with hemoglobin, so the simple fact that it isn’t present in e-cigarettes is a major advantage. However, some studies have suggested that vapes without carbon monoxide don’t exist at all and in fact, produce a dangerous concentration of carbon dioxide. In this article, we’ll be debunking myths about vapes and carbon monoxide and leave the decision up to you.


Early Concerns About Formaldehyde

Long-term vapers will be aware of the controversy surrounding traces of formaldehyde (a colourless, strong-smelling gas) detected in e-cigarette vapour. Initially publicised by the New England Journal of Medicine, thousands of vapers ditched their e-cigarettes to return to smoking cigarettes.

However, faults and inconsistencies in testing have since been revealed. Initial researchers performed tests using an obsolete clearomizer mechanism, cranking it up to its maximum voltage to produce unwanted results. The procedure was problematic in that because it was similar to the experience of “dry puffing”, during which the vapour becomes overcooked and tastes awful due to a burnt wick. The research has since been thoroughly debunked.

If you aren’t a vaper, think of the procedure as analogous to turning up your toaster to its highest setting, resulting in a blackened and inedible toast. Analyse this piece of food and you’ll find that it is riddled with carcinogens. Although it is possible to measure formaldehyde from vapour, the trace levels are barely above standard air sampling, and exhaled vapour in a room falls within Australian workplace air quality standards. Smoking alternatively has formaldehyde levels thousands of times higher.


New Carbon Monoxide Studies

Pointing out that carbon monoxide is usually the result of incomplete combustion, researchers referenced another study in which two types of vapours were tested across a wide range of wattage settings. Using a diode laser spectroscopy to measure carbon monoxide levels, the Wismec Reuleaux and Aspire Cleito EXO vapes were activated for a 4-second puff. Going through the efforts to reduce dry puffs, both liquids demonstrated a 50/50 PG/VG ratio.

However, it was eventually discovered that initial measurements were disregarded, yet researchers claimed that increasing the power on a device led to an increase in CO levels. What they didn’t account for were the limitations of the equipment used.

These inconsistencies are what stood out most.


  • Of the vapours that were tested, Black Ice results only listed 4 points as opposed to the 8 points listed for Strawana, leaving out the results of the 60W and 80W tests. At 40W, no CO was detected.
  • The coil used to perform the testing was a Cleito 0.2-ohm coil, rated for about only 55 to 70W of power. Researchers conducted tests for vaping devices at up to 200W, three times the recommendation for the coil tested.


In short, there was no way CO levels could have been tested efficiently.


Researchers Don’t Understand Vaping

Though they became increasingly aware of the problems caused by dry puffing, the researchers who conducted these experiments were not vaping experts. Despite the availability of hundreds of different coils to suit various vaping devices, researchers still recommended that manufacturers limit the power available on their products.

In the end, vapers know not to use obsolete coils and crank them up to maximum settings. Instead, most will use tanks from one manufacturer with the mods of another in order to experience a safe and optimum vapour.



Considering the inaccurate tests performed and actual research from more well-equipped vaping experts, you won’t have to worry much about inhaling carbon monoxide when vaping simply stick to the recommendations of the coil you’re currently using and never push its limits.

For high-quality vaping devices and tasty e-liquids, pay us a visit at Wild West Vapers. A first-time vaper and need a little bit of advice? We’ll let you in on how to shop for your first device and what not to do!