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E-Cigarette Flavors Are Just as Bad for Lung Inflammation as Smoking, Study Finds

Analysis by Dr. Joseph Mercola

While e-cigarettes are sold as fun, hip and “safe” alternatives to real cigarettes, more and more research is showing that they’re anything but. For example, some of the “fun” of vaping is supposed to center in the flavors. But as the Daily Mail reports, research shows these flavors can cause as much inflammation in your lungs as real cigarettes do — belying the “safe” label e-cigs’ manufacturers have given them.

One reason e-cigs seem so “safe” — and I absolutely must put that word in quotes, as there’s nothing safe about them — is because, unlike traditional cigarettes, e-cigs are nearly odorous. The down side of this very feature, however, is that no odor does NOT mean no danger. We now know that even bystanders are not immune from the pollution that e-cigs emit through their vapers.

When it comes to flavors, the research is coming in solidly against them. According to a study from Boston University School of Medicine, liquid used to flavor e-cigarettes may induce early signs of cardiovascular disease leading to heart attack, stroke and even death. One of the key factors in this study was the direct testing of the effect of just flavoring at levels likely to be reached inside the body.

In this study, researchers looked at nine different chemicals included in e-cigs, and found that at the highest level of exposure the chemicals triggered outright cell death. At a lower level, researchers noted impaired nitric oxide production and inflammation.

This is a concern that’s worthy of attention but, unfortunately, while scientists continue to prove that e-cigs hold greater health risks than previously believed, companies like Juul Labs Inc. continue to chase profits by copying Big Tobacco’s old sales tactics.

Presented as the "most satisfying" and "genuine alternative to cigarettes, Juuls are described as delivering "a nicotine hit that's much more like smoking a cigarette than other e-cigs" — which is exactly the opposite of what the original reason for switching to e-cigs was supposed to be.

The bottom line is, like it or not, e-cigs are no better than their tobacco counterparts, and science is proving they’re just as dangerous to your health. One could compare it to putting a finger in a leaking dike, but before the first quarter of 2018 was out, 11 U.S. senators sent two letters to Juul Labs Inc., stating that the company's products undermine the fabric of the nation's efforts to curb tobacco use, and calling the company out for putting "an entire new generation of children at risk of nicotine addiction." Only time will tell whether or not there's a positive response.

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