Tags: flavorings | voltage | increase | toxicity | electronic | cigarettes | e-cigs

Flavorings, Higher Voltage Increase Toxicity of E-Cigs

Flavorings, Higher Voltage Increase Toxicity of E-Cigs

(Copyright Fotolia)

By    |   Tuesday, 20 September 2016 03:34 PM

Electronic cigarettes have only been on the market in the United States since 2006, and usage has skyrocketed. Teens using e-cigarettes jumped 19 percent within a single year, and now more teens use them instead of traditional tobacco cigarettes.


Researchers are questioning their safety, however. While the more than 7,000 flavors available in e-cigarettes are FDA approved, the approval process was based on data created for oral consumption, not inhalation.


Some experts believe that electronic cigarettes are much more dangerous than previously believed, and recent studies show that e-cigarette vapor delivers a toxic cocktail of chemicals directly to the lungs.


A new study published in the journal Tobacco Control found that several flavorings added to electronic cigarettes increase the toxicity of the devices. Among the tested flavors, strawberry was the most toxic.


The study also confirmed earlier research which found that increasing the battery output voltage of these devices significantly increases toxicity.


"Although many of the flavorings used in e-cigarette liquids have been certified as safe for eating, little is known about their effects when heated and inhaled in e-cigarettes," says the study's senior author, Maciej Goniewicz, Assistant Professor of Oncology in the Department of Health Behavior at Buffalo's Roswell Park Cancer Institute.


"This study suggests that various characteristics of e-cigarettes, including any flavorings, may induce inhalation toxicity and therefore, caution should be used with these products until more comprehensive studies are performed."


Researchers exposed bronchial cells to aerosol generated from several variable-voltage e-cigarettes. They analyzed cell viability and activity as well as the release of inflammatory mediators.


They evaluated six types of e-cigarette devices filled with liquids of different flavors — tobacco, pina colada, menthol, coffee and strawberry — at several battery output voltages.


Their findings suggest that the power of the e-cigarette device, as well as the addition of any flavorings, significantly affect the toxicity of e-cigarette aerosol. Strawberry flavorings were found to be the most toxic to users.


"Our study demonstrates that e-cigarette products differ significantly in the degree of their cellular toxicity to bronchial epithelial cells," adds Goniewicz.


"These findings have important regulatory implications, because the features of e-cigarette products — such as the power of the device and the presence of flavorings — can be regulated and standardized.


"Additionally, users may want to reduce their potential harm by choosing products with lower toxicity profile and operating their devices at lower power settings."


A recent study published in the American Journal of Physiology, found that vaping electronic cigarettes alters the same genes as tobacco that defend the body against bacteria, viruses, and inflammation.


The findings suggested that inhaling the vaporized flavored liquids in e-cigarettes has consequences similar to smoking tobacco, at least on epithelial cells that line the upper airway of the respiratory tract.
 

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Electronic cigarettes have only been on the market in the United States since 2006, and usage has skyrocketed. Teens using e-cigarettes jumped 19 percent within a single year, and now more teens use them instead of traditional tobacco cigarettes. Researchers are...
flavorings, voltage, increase, toxicity, electronic, cigarettes, e-cigs
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Tuesday, 20 September 2016 03:34 PM
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