Electronic cigarettes are booming. Germans love to smoke, but love dying not so much, and so an estimated two million people in Germany have already turned to the vapor cigarette, which many view as a healthy alternative to conventional smoking.

Some are warning of possible health risks, claiming that the long-term consequences cannot yet be foreseen, the old ‘you cannot prove it it safe’ impossibility, and studies to-date have been mixed.

Partof the issue is that smoking remains a hot-button issue, and so there is a general lack of substantiated facts. Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Wood Research WKI in Braunschweig say they can be objective and set out to learn if e-cigarettes pollute the surrounding air. Second hand vapor, anyone?

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