Cherry flavor e-cigarettes are unsafeAmy Walsh (Author) Published Date : Feb 01, 2016 21:14 ET
According to a new study, flavored e-cigarettes are not as good as you think, cherry flavor in particular. They contain a chemical that can irritate the airways. The chemical benzaldehyde was detected in 108 of the 145 flavored cigarettes tested in the study.
Benzaldehyde is a widely used flavoring agent found in foods as well as medicines, such as cough syrup. It can taste like cherries or almonds. Benzaldehyde can irritate the airways when inhaled, and vapor from the chemical also can irritate the eyes.
It might be the case that if the user of an electronic cigarette experiences some side effects, like coughing, it might be attributed to the flavorings, said senior author Maciej Goniewicz. He is an assistant professor of oncology at Roswell Park Cancer Institute in Buffalo, N.Y.
Earlier studies have stated that e-cigarettes are unsafe. Dr Jessica Wang-Rodriquez, professor of pathology at the University of California, San Diego, and one of the lead researchers of an earlier study stated that electronic cigarettes are not as safe as their marketing makes them appear to the public.
It's safe when we eat it, or when we apply it to our skin, but inhalation is a completely different mode of exposure, Goniewicz explained.
However, the researchers also noted that the estimated daily inhaled dose of benzaldehyde from even cherry flavored e-cigarettes was more than 1,000 times lower than the maximum workplace exposure level set by federal regulators.
And the Smoke-Free Alternatives Trade Association, an e-cigarette industry group, said in a statement that these findings prove e-cigs are a better alternative to traditional tobacco cigarettes.
Apparently, cherry-flavored e-cigarettes contained the highest amounts of benzaldehyde, where the dose was 43 times higher than other flavored e-cigarettes.
But Dr. Norman Edelman, senior scientific advisor for the American Lung Association, said the study really shows the need for proper regulation of e-cigarettes.
The study, which is featured in the journal Thorax, suggests that although e-cigarettes are promising methods to reduce health risks among smokers, long-term exposure to these flavored products can be unsafe.
Cherry flavor e-cigarettes are unsafe