According to a new US study, the flavors used in electronic cigarette fluids can damage cells that protect the blood vessels and damage the health of the heart. Researchers believe that e-cigarettes are not a safe alternative to smoking.
E-cigarettes are getting more and more popular. According to the CDC, “vapers” are increasingly used as a means of weaning tobacco. In fact, the CDC reported that 38% of high schoolers and 13% of middle schoolers have tried vaping. At the same time, the number of tobacco smokers has dropped to 15.5% from 20.6 percent between 2005 and 2017.
But this new practice is not without risk, especially for some liquids that have fruity or sweet flavors, to which many former smokers who wish to switch to the electronic cigarette are turning. According to US researchers, these flavored products can lead to health risks by reducing the capacity and function of human cells.
Their study, published Monday, May 27th in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology and relayed by CNN, shows that flavored liquids can damage endothelial cells, which lurk and protect the blood vessels and therefore play a vital role in heart health.
They discovered that exposure to six different flavors (fruits, tobacco, vanilla and caramel tobacco, salted butter caramel, cinnamon and menthol) leads to high levels of molecules involved in cell death. They assure that the effects of these chemicals are “closely related to those observed during the development of a cardiovascular disease”.
According to the researchers, these effects are not the same depending on the flavors used. They note that cinnamon and menthol are the most harmful. They conclude by explaining that e-cigarettes “are not a safe alternative to tobacco”.
In addition, the authors of the study caution against the effect on the health of young people, who are increasingly likely to adopt vaping. “The public has this idea in mind that e-cigarettes are not dangerous, which leads many young people to start to smoke e-cigarettes,” said Dr. Joseph Wu, who heads the cardiovascular institute at the university. It points out the risk of developing cardiovascular diseases when they are adults.
Finally, other studies have highlighted the risks for brain development in people who smoke electronic cigarettes, related to the presence of nicotine in the liquids used.