May 26, 2024

Chemicals used to produce vapors can be acutely toxic when heated and inhaled, according to research.

Vaporizers heat the liquid flavoring to high temperatures to form an aerosol that is then inhaled. They contain chemicals, including vegetable glycerin, propylene glycol, nicotine and flavoring agents, mixed in varying amounts.

Previous experiments showed that some fruit-flavored vapors – such as strawberry, melon and blueberry – produce dangerous compounds called volatile carbonyls as a result of this heating process.

These compounds are known to have health implications for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), cardiovascular disease and cancers.

With so many chemicals used in tens of thousands of different vape products, conducting experiments to test each brand and flavor for toxicity can take decades of research.

Instead, the study used AI to analyze the chemical makeup of 180 vape flavors and simulate how they decompose when heated. The research, published in Scientific reportspredicted that vapes produce 127 “acutely toxic” chemicals, 153 “health hazards” and 225 “irritants”.

Almost every fragrance posted by the AI ​​predictor showed at least one product classified as a health hazard, with many predicting several. The toxins have been associated with vapes that contain no nicotine, as well as those with.

The research team at RCSI University of Medicine and Health Sciences, Dublinconcludes that there is a “potential threat to public health facing the 4.5 million vapers in the UK” and an urgent need for “improved restrictions” on flavors and regulations that reflect the health risks of vaping , especially for young people.

In January, the government announced that it would ban disposable vapors and limit sweet and fruity flavors. Lead author Donal O’Shea, professor of chemistry at RCSI, said the UK government should go further and remove all flavors from vapes.

It’s crucial to understand the impact of flavored vapors on health “before it’s too late,” he added.

“It is plausible that we are on the verge of a new wave of chronic diseases that will emerge 15 to 20 years from now as a result of these exposures.”

Given the popularity of flavored vapes among nonsmoking teenagers and young adults, understanding the long-term effects of these products on public health, morbidity, and mortality is crucial, the study concludes.

“Without comprehensive regulation, as we try to treat the nicotine addiction of older tobacco smokers, there is a significant risk of passing on new health issues to younger generations.”

In response to the findings, a Department of Health and Social Care spokesperson said: “The health advice is clear – if you don’t smoke, don’t vape and children should never vape.

“That’s why we’re banning disposable vapes and our Tobacco and Vapes Bill includes powers to restrict flavours, packaging and displays of vapes to reduce their appeal to children.

“It’s clear that flavors like cotton candy and cherry cola are deliberately aimed at children, not adult smokers trying to quit, which is completely unacceptable. This is why we will act decisively and limit vape flavors.”

Prof Sanjay Agrawal, the Royal College of Physicians’ special adviser on tobacco, said that while vaping can be a very effective way to break the addiction to tobacco, it should only be used for this purpose.

“Vaping is not risk-free, so those who don’t smoke, including children and young people, shouldn’t vape either,” he said.

John Dunne, director general at trade body the UK Vaping Industry Association, said: “The science on vaping is very clear, it is the most effective way for smokers to quit and is at least 95% less harmful than smoking. Every chemical used in the e-liquid in the UK is rigorously tested, including the analysis of chemicals when heated, and is only approved for use by the UK government if deemed safe.

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