PUFFING away on some flavoured e-cigarettes is more dangerous than others, experts have warned. Some of the chemicals in different flavours produce fr
PUFFING away on some flavoured e-cigarettes is more dangerous than others, experts have warned.
Some of the chemicals in different flavours produce free radicals and toxins associated with cancer, new research suggests.
Getty – Contributor Certain flavours of e-cigarettes produce more cancer-causing free radicals
The worst offenders were citrus flavours like orange, lemon, grapefruit and lime and floral flavours like eucalyptus and ginger.
They contained the chemicals linalool, dipentene and citral, which were found to increase free radical production in e-cigarettes.
Lead author John Richie, professor of public health sciences and pharmacology at Penn State College of Medicine, said: “When these products first came on the market, many people were saying they were harmless and that it was just water vapour.
“We know that’s not true, but we also don’t have the numbers on how dangerous e-cigarettes are.
Alamy Free radicals can cause damage to healthy cells and have been linked to cancer
“But now we know that e-cigarettes do produce free radicals, and the amount is affected by the flavourants added.”
Richie and his team measured the free radicals produced by 50 flavours of e-cigarette flavours and compared the results to flavourless liquid.
Free radicals can cause damage to healthy cells and have been linked to inflammation, heart disease and cancer.
“E-cigarettes have a coil for heating the liquid that gets quite hot and may aid the production of free radicals,” Richie said.
Getty – Contributor Free radicals have also been linked to heart disease, making vaping more dangerous
“It’s important to look at the effect of flavours on these free radical levels because e-cigarettes come in hundreds of flavours, many of which are marketed toward kids, like bubblegum.”
The team was able to break down the flavours by individual chemicals to determine which ones were most likely to cause health problems.
Zachary Bitzer, who also worked on the research, said: “Two different manufacturers may sell an ‘orange’ flavoured e-liquid, but they could each contain vastly different flavourants to get that orange flavour.
“Just like Coke and Pepsi are both colas but have different ingredients, different flavours of e-cigarettes may contain different flavourants, resulting in different levels of free radicals.”