17 February 2021

Toxic news for choccy vapers

The Back Page

Your back page today is the bearer of bad tidings for fans of the twin vices of chocolate and vaping.

While both can be bad for you when indulged in excess, new research shows combining the two is “particularly harmful” for the lungs, which, let’s face it, weren’t really designed for such practices.

Research published in the America Journal of Physiology-Lung Cellular and Molecular Physiology  has found, unsurprisingly, that all flavours of e-cigarette vape liquids are toxic to the cells lining the lungs to some extent, but it’s the chocolate variety which is the most damaging.

The boffins tested 10 flavours of vape juice to measure the impact on the lungs and the results were not good news for e-cig users.

Not only does the chemical make-up of the flavourings harm the lung cells, and in some cases kill those cells, the tasty toxins also “significantly reduced the ability of immune system cells to remove bacteria and regulate inflammation”.

The 10 e-liquid flavours studied – apple, banana, bubblegum, cappuccino, cherry, chocolate, cinnamon, mango, peppermint and tobacco – contained as many as 15 chemicals, the research showed.

And the worst offenders were the chocolate and banana ones due to high levels of a chemical component called a benzene ring.

The purpose of the study was to determine whether immune dysfunction and toxicity in the lungs previously observed in earlier studies were dependent on the flavour used, independent of the presence of nicotine.

“We believe that this study provides evidence that the potential harm from using flavours does not come from the name on the bottle, but rather the flavouring chemical composition, the flavouring chemicals present and their concentration,” researcher Dr Miranda Ween (PhD), of Royal Adelaide Hospital, said in a media release.

“This suggests that any limits on permitted flavours should be based on this sort of data specifically to ensure that allowed products truly represent the lowest level of harm possible,” Dr Ween added.

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