Ever since vaping became popular there have been those who have opposed the use of e-cigs, saying that they are harmful to human health, however now, experts have taken a new tack, claiming that it may not be the e-cigarettes themselves that are causing damage but the e-liquids themselves.
While the medical profession now seems to be coming around to the idea that vaping is a much safer alternative to smoking tobacco cigarettes, scientists are constantly working to prove otherwise, and now a study which was carried out in Kentucky and the University of Louisville seems to suggest that the chemical flavourings used in the manufacture of certain e-juices could be the cause of the health concerns associated with vaping.
Threat From Flavourings
In the tests carried out by the University of Louisville’s research team, it appeared that people who prefer cinnamon and citrus flavours are most at risk of causing damage to their heart since these flavourings appear to damage the heart muscle cells which regulate the heartbeat.
15 different flavourings were tested in the study which examined the way in which different flavours affect the heart muscle cells (or cardiomyocytes). These cells are key to assisting the heart in its task of pumping blood effectively around the body and to regulating its ability to beat rhythmically. As part of the testing process, the scientists examined how the chemicals used in these flavourings affected the cells at a range of different temperatures.
Citrus and Cinnamon Flavours Most Damaging
Although the chemical flavourings used to make e-liquids are generally believed to be safe since they are used as food additives, there is very little understood at the present time about any impact they may have on the function of the human heart, and how heating the compounds could affect their toxicity.
The result of this recent study revealed that some e-juice flavours could have a potentially harmful effect on vapers’ hearts. E-juices which used cinnamon flavourings were shown to prevent the heart muscle cells from contracting for a whole day after they had been in contact with the vapour, while citrus, floral and clove flavourings caused the muscle cells in the heart to beat more quickly. These findings back up an earlier study carried out last year which revealed that strawberry flavourings were the most toxic for the lungs. Now, the research team are concerned that if the compounds can interact with the heart muscle in a negative way, they could also directly change the way in which the cell functions.
Calls To Ban E-Cig Flavours
There have already been calls from health officials for flavoured e-cigarettes to be banned from sale in an attempt to prevent children from being encouraged to try vaping, with claims that sweet flavours such as chocolate, strawberry and bubble gum enticing young people to try out the devices. However, the Independent British Vape Trade Association and the Action on Smoking and Health charity have hit back at such calls, saying that flavoured e-juices have a key role in helping smokers to quit the habit.
The results of this new study is likely to bring a renewed round of calls for dessert flavourings to be banned, with more controversy likely to ensue.
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