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E-cigarettes are often promoted as a healthier alternative to traditional cigarettes. However, this is far from the truth. Like regular cigarettes, e-cigarettes expose the user to harmful substances including lead and nicotine. A recent study in the scientific journal Frontiers of Physiology uncovered new information about the flavors used in many e-cigarettes and the toxic risk they pose to smokers.
Appealing flavored liquids like vanilla and cinnamon are some of the most dangerous, and that risk increases when those flavors are mixed together. The study’s authors call for increased public awareness of the dangers of flavored “e-liquids” and “vape juices” and tighter regulation on e-cigarettes to protect public health.
Electronic cigarettes, also called smokeless cigarettes or vape pens, are an alternative way to consume nicotine – the addictive chemical found in tobacco. Unlike regular cigarettes, e-cigarettes do not require tobacco or a flame. They are powered by a battery and do not produce the ash, smoke, or odor associated with cigarettes. The battery heats a nicotine liquid, converting it to mist which is inhaled by the user.
Though vape pens do not have some of the harmful chemicals traditional cigarettes do like tar and carbon monoxide, they still have not proven to be a healthier option for people who want to consume nicotine. As the Frontiers in Physiology study shows, they may actually be much more toxic than consumers realize.
In the United States, more than 500 different brands of vape pens and nearly 8,000 flavored e-cigarette liquids are available to the public. Vape juices are marketed as safe enough to eat. Yet when certain flavored vape juices are heated and inhaled, they are far from safe. Prior studies on the risks of vape juices showed inflammation and stress responses in the lung cells.
This most recent study further found that users exposed to flavored e-liquids showed higher biomarkers for inflammation and tissue damage than non-smokers. These biomarkers indicate a greater risk of serious, chronic diseases.
The study’s authors believe their results prove definitively that flavored compounds used in vape juices are not safe for inhalation. Cinnamon, vanilla, and buttery-flavored compounds were among the most toxic; and that toxicity increases significantly when the flavors were mixed.
E-liquids in flavors like bananas foster, vanilla custard, and kiwi strawberry hardly sound toxic, but the doctors behind the Frontiers study want consumers to know what they are putting into their bodies. They want tougher regulation on e-cigarettes, including full disclosure of ingredients, thus allowing users to make informed decisions that impact their long-term health.
Product liability laws are designed to protect the public from everyday hazards. Manufacturers or sellers of defective or dangerous products that harm consumers should be held responsible. As the dangers of e-cigarettes and vape liquids are better understood, vape product manufacturers have a responsibility to disclose or reduce those risks.
If you or a loved one has been injured by an e-cigarette or some other dangerous product, contact a South Jersey personal injury lawyer at Folkman Law Offices, P.C. Our team has tackled many complex product liability cases, bringing our clients compensation for injuries and closure to heal and move forward. Call 856-354-9444 or submit an online inquiry to schedule your free product liability case review with a South Jersey personal injury lawyer today. Our offices are conveniently located in Cherry Hill, New Jersey, Center City Philadelphia, and King of Prussia, Pennsylvania to serve clients across South Jersey and the greater Philadelphia area.