Science

Vaping Can Be Toxic, According To Research

By Joana Verdeflor , Jan 13, 2017 09:53 PM EST
BRISTOL, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 30: Mitchell Baker who works at the Vapour Place a vaping shop in Bedminster, exhales vapour produced by an e-cigarette on December 30, 2016 in Bristol, England. Recent figures released by the e-cigarette industry has claimed that there as many as 1700 vaping shops across the country, with two new ones opening each day catering for the estimated three million vapers in the UK. The popularity of e-cigarettes has boomed in the last ten years, as it is seen by many as a healthier alternative to traditional cigarettes, however some critics say the devices can carry the same risks as smoking especially as the long term affects are yet to be known. (Photo : Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images)

Scientists from University of Salford confirm that flavors used in electronic cigarettes contain toxins. Therefore vape users, specifically younger ones, are exposed to health risk to huge variety of non-standard vaping liquids.

Vaping Is Harmful To The Lungs

Studies have proven that vaping liquids contain aldehydes. Aldehydes are compounds that can cause damage to the lungs. These harmful substances are not present in standard tobacco cigarettes. The researchers from Salford University is the first to be able to test flavored liquids, inhaled as smoke, on normal lung tissue.

"We are talking about flavours which are normally ingested in food where tissue is much different from tissue in the lungs," said Dr Patricia Ragazzon, Biomedical Research Centre at the University of Salford. "When inhaled, some of the flavours we tested proved to be substantially toxic, with prolonged exposure killing bronchial cells completely."

E-Liquids When Vaping Found To Be Toxic

Flavors bought from shops and chemists and online have been studied. The test included 20 liquid refills of nine flavors such as cherry, strawberry, ice-mint, menthol, tobacco, vanilla, bubble-gum, butterscotch and blueberry flavors. The results of the finds have been published in the Scientific Progress journal.

Laboratory tests performed exposed cell lines of human bronchial tissue of both embryonic and adult cells to vapor at a range concentrations over 24, 48 and 72 hours. Results have shown that all flavos have proven toxic to cells. The toxicity varies from less toxic (fruit flavors) to moderately and highly toxic (menthol, bubblegum, butterscotch, tobacco and coffee).

Dr. Ragazzon confirmed that evidences prove that cells can recover after 48 hours only if they are exposed for 72 hours or less. According to the scientists, this is a serious implications for regular smokers. The adult cells have shown to be less impacted however majority of samples have shown moderate to high toxicity to the embryonic cells.

Dr. Ragazzon further notes the huge variation of flavors and their additional components. She confirmed that the composition of refills is highly irregular. Some of the composition refills is highly irregular. Refills range from natural flavors, single compounds, and synthetic flavors. Dr. Ragazzon emphasized the presence of varied products in the market making it difficult of gauge their harmfulness.

"Our work supports the opinion that e-cigarettes and especially the ingredients of the e-liquid, which can change in structure after the process of heating, have not been thoroughly characterised or evaluated for safety," Dr. Ragazzon added.

FDA Regulations On E-Cigarettes

In fact, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) joined efforts with health experts in thee regulation of the use of e-cigarettes. The agency warns consumers regarding its potential health risks. Electronic cigarettes, also known as "e-cigarettes" are battery-operated devices designed to replace the look and function of conventional cigarettes. E-cigarettes are sold online and in shopping malls.

These devices contain cartridges that contain nicotine, flavoring, and other chemicals. They are designed to turn nicotine and other chemicals, turn them into vapor, to be inhaled by the user. "The FDA is concerned about the safety of these products and how they are marketed to the public," says Margaret A. Hamburg, M.D., commissioner of food and drugs. 

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