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Friday, April 17, 2015

Concerns About E-Cigarette Chemicals

E-cigarettes and the lack of regulations and product standards are in the news a lot these days. The e-cigarette industry is growing exponentially; it has rapidly become a multi-billion dollar business - serving markets around the globe. Unfortunately, due to the product's relative infancy, little is known about the long term side effects and their ability to help people quit smoking.

One of the biggest complaints about e-cigarettes is the fact that many of the nicotine liquids (e-juices) which users vaporize, seem to have names and flavors which appeal to younger market. What’s more, there is not much information on the chemicals used to flavor the e-juices.

New research raises concerns about the level of chemicals used to create the e-juice flavors, HealthDay reports. While many of the chemicals used for flavoring are the same as those used for kid’s candy, safety standards for the levels of flavoring chemicals used relates to exposure via ingestion - rather than inhalation.

The researchers analyzed 30 e-cigarette fluids, such as: grape, cherry, cotton candy and bubble gum, according to the article. They point out that they did not investigate whether the chemicals were safe; they looked at the types and levels of chemicals used. The research team concluded that a person using a typical amount of e-cigarette fluid a day would be exposed to twice the recommended exposure limits of the chemicals benzaldehyde and vanillin.

The results are “likely to be similar to what a broad survey would have revealed, and in any case strongly suggest that very high levels of some flavor chemicals are undoubtedly present in a great number of the thousands of products currently available,” wrote researcher James Pankow of Portland State University in Oregon.

In most cases, e-cigarette juice makers do not reveal the ingredients used to make the flavoring on the bottles, the article reports. The researchers are calling for new regulations on e-cigarettes, including requiring a listing of ingredients, limits on the level of chemicals used for certain flavorings, and on the total levels of flavoring.

The research was published in the journal Tobacco Control.

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