The April 19 edition of the British Medical Journal published a research article in its Tobacco Control section. You will find a link to this article at the end of this post.
The study in question was conducted on E liquid flavors such as cotton candy. It’s worth noting that this was a separate study from the one also recently conducted regarding butterscotch flavoring and formaldehyde. To read these stories click HERE and HERE.
If you’re a vaper, you are naturally concerned when you hear about problems with E liquids.
In the current study, 30 different types of flavored E liquids were purchased from both brick-and-mortar stores and online shops. Among the flavors were:
- Fruit Flavors
- Menthol Varieties
- Tobacco Flavors
- Novelty Flavors
The researchers found that in some samples, the flavor chemicals present exceeded recommended levels. In a couple of isolated samples, the flavor chemicals were at potentially harmful levels.
The two chemicals that were most concerning were benzaldehyde and vanillin. It was found that some e-cigarette can provide twice the amount of these ingredients that is recommended as safe. Researchers determined this by referring to information published in various forums regarding safe levels of either liquid consumption. The consensus is that this is generally felt to be 5 mL a day.
The authors of the research study said that quite a few flavor chemicals are classed as aldehydes. This substance is recognized as a primary irritant of the respiratory tract and mucosal tissue.
It should come as no surprise to anyone who is familiar with the e-cigarette industry that the mainstream media went wild over this sketchy information. When the media wants to scare someone, e- cigs make a handy scapegoat. The fact is, there isn’t really any news of substance in these findings.
The authors of the study stated their concerns regarding e- six, and the first is the hackneyed argument that E liquid’s containing sweet and popular flavors will attract young people to vaping. The fact is this does not happen.
After the authors present this flawed opinion, a follow-up by saying that there may be potential harm involved in inhaling flavorings because the chemicals in the may be degraded by heating.
It seems apparent that opponents of e- cigs don’t understand why vapers would want or need flavoring. The thinking seems to be that tobacco smoke has such a dreadful flavor that people switching from it wouldn’t care how the substitute tastes. This is a clear demonstration of their lack of understanding of the entire phenomenon of smoking and vaping.
Critics further claim that the statements issued by some electronic cigarette companies saying that their flavoring ingredients are generally recognized as safe (GRAS) by the FDA is untrue or misleading. They say that this recognition is in reference to ingestion rather than inhalation.
While this is technically true, it may be a moot point. Here’s what scientists who are experts in the electronic cigarette field have to say. Doctor Farsalinos who is a well known expert in the field, says that there are actually no new findings within this so-called study. He says that at most, the study can truthfully say that it proved that slavery liquids do, indeed contain flavors.
He says that it is important to remember that of the 30 E liquids that were to tested, only two were found to have potentially dangerous amounts possibly concerning chemicals. He says that what this proves is not that all flavored E liquids are dangerous. Instead, it proves that it is very wise to select your E liquid supplier with care.
He points out that while common sense regulation is needed, it should certainly be in proportion. There is no need to ban E liquid flavorings. Instead, there needs to be a broader understanding of the way electronic cigarettes work. Naturally, people who switch from smoking to vaping need to have flavored E liquid so that they can easily continue using this wise tobacco harm reduction alternative.
TW is a company that takes care to have all of its E liquid tested independently by an expert. That is why we know what’s in the Z liquids and how they will affect users.
Dr. Farsalinos commentary regarding the recent research is important in putting this matter into perspective. It helps clarify the issue for the average person and for vapers. Below is a summary of his further comments on the matter. We hope that this will help you understand the difference between substances that pose a toxic risk and those that are simply irritants. Furthermore, we hope it will shed some light on what sorts of motivations the researchers may have had in attempting to present toxins and irritants as equivalents.
According to Dr. Farsalinos, irritation isn’t necessarily indicative of long-term damage or adverse effects. Additionally, vapers sometimes need irritation because that is part of smoking. The satisfaction of feeling the “throat hit” is an integral part of the smoking and vaping experience. When the authors of the study point to aldehydes as being irritants of the respiratory and mucosal tissues, this is true; however, it’s not necessarily a bad thing. As a matter of fact, there are a number of fragrances, which are designed to be inhaled that contain aldehydes. Also within the text of the research manuscript, its authors allude to an occupational safety limit for the chemical benzaldehyde. Their recognition of the fact that there is an occupational safety limit in existence also confirms that the amount of irritation or adverse effects is directly linked with the amount of exposure.
Dr. Farsalinos acknowledges that the flavorings found in E liquid’s are food grade and that at the current time there is little or no data regarding long-term effects of inhaling them. He points out that this does not mean that these GRAS ingredients are toxic when put to this use.
In conclusion, Dr. Farsalinos address is a challenge to electronic cigarette detractors.
He says that if these detractors truly believe that the flavorings used in electronic cigarette E liquid’s are as dangerous as cigarette smoke, this is what they should say. He furthermore states that finding that two out of 30 E liquid’s tested may have unacceptable levels of a potentially harmful substance is not really newsworthy. He admonishes that this is something that the manufacturers of either liquids should take under close consideration when determining the amount of flavorings to include in E liquids.
All in all, when considering the question from which this article draws its title, “Is it dangerous to vape with flavored E liquids?”, A sensible person would have to say that it probably is not. This is especially true when you take the care to purchase your E liquids from a reliable and reputable manufacturer who understand and provides transparent information regarding the liquids and flavorings.
More articles on e-liquid: http://www.cloudcig.co.uk/diacetyl-in-e-liquid-should-we-be-afraid/