Researchers found a chemical called benzaldehyde in flavored e-cigarettes especially in cherry c-cigs and it can irritate the airways of the users.
Flavored e-cigarettes, particularly one’s that taste like cherry, contain a chemical that can irritate lungs of the users, according to a new study.
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The chemical called Benzaldehyde is a widely used flavoring agent that is often found in food, medicines as well as cosmetics. The chemical is generally considered safe but can be harmful when inhaled –especially in long term. Benzaldehyde not only irritates airways but also the vapor from flavored e-cigarette can cause irritation to eyes.
Researchers examined 145 flavored e-cigarettes which consist of 40 berry/tropical fruit flavored, 37 tobacco, 15 alcohol, 11 chocolate/sweet, 11 coffee/tea, 10 mint/menthol, 10 cherry and 11 others.
A total of 30 puffs were taken from each e-cigarette and the quantities of benzaldehyde were measured.
Benzaldehyde was detected in 108 out of 145 e-cigarettes while the highest levels were found in cherry flavored e-cigarettes, around 43 times higher than other flavored products.
"Users of cherry flavored products may inhale significantly higher doses of benzaldehyde compared with users of other flavored products.” Researchers wrote.
Researchers also compared the inhaled benzaldehyde dose from cherry flavored e-cigarettes with that of a conventional cigarette and found it contains higher levels of chemical than the regular cigarette.
“It might be the case that if the user of an electronic cigarette experiences some side effects, like coughing, it may be attributed to the flavorings.” Maciej Goniewicz from Roswell Park Cancer Institute in Buffalo and co-author of the study said.
Many previous studies suggest that e-cigarettes are less harmful than tobacco cigarettes as conventional cigarettes expose smokers to over 7,000 chemicals including 60 suspected carcinogens, a substance that directly causes cancer.
Researchers suggest that those who are using flavored e-cigarettes as a tool to quit smoking but they are experiencing some health issues with that can switch to other flavors of e-cigarettes instead of cherry e-cigs.
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Goniewicz said.“If someone is using electronic cigarettes right now and experiences some of these side effects, this study suggests that they should try a different flavoring that might be less irritating to the users."