Flavored e-cigarettes are even more dangerous

Flavored e-cigarettes are even more dangerous

A team of Irish researchers used artificial intelligence (AI) to assess the health risks of flavored vaping liquids in a new study. The process involved data analysis using artificial intelligence of 180 types of flavorings used in the electronic cigarette industry. Using the artificial intelligence, the molecular decomposition of the flavor liquids under the effect of heating was analyzed and new and dangerous substances were identified which were created in the process. In summarizing the findings of the study, a dramatic situation was revealed. It turned out that the vaping liquids with the different tastes and smells contain 127 extremely toxic chemicals, 153 chemicals known to be dangerous to health and about 225 chemical substances that create inflammatory irritation with the tissue they come into contact with in the human body. According to the study, these chemicals can become even more toxic when heated to high temperatures and inhaled into the lungs.

The new research was based on revealing health risks using computerized systems for predicting chemical reactions as a result of the vaporization of flavorings in the smoking process of electronic cigarettes. Previous experiments have shown that several vaping liquids in fruit flavors such as strawberry, melon and blueberry, produce dangerous compounds due to the heating process. These compounds have many health consequences and especially in the effect on the development of cancer.

In the study, the researchers found that almost every flavor evaluated by the artificial intelligence predictor showed at least one ingredient that was classified as a health hazard, with many of them containing several dangerous ingredients. The dangerous toxins were also found regardless of the nicotine content in the product.

Illustration. Photo: pixabay

Moshe Bar Haim, CEO of the Association to Fight Cancer explained that: “The dramatic results of the new study from Ireland testify to the significant health risk inherent in the sweet flavors that play a significant role in the initiation of the use of electronic cigarettes by children and teenagers. The flavors and smells attract children and teenagers to use electronic cigarettes and obscure the fact that this is a smoking product that is dangerous to health and creates physical and mental dependence.”

He also said: “The tobacco industry invests enormous efforts and resources in seducing new audiences to the dangerous addiction and its preferred target audience is the youth and young adults. The policymakers in Israel must speed up and quickly promote legislation banning flavors in smoking products in order to protect the children and youth in Israel.”

The research team at the RCSI University of Medicine and Health Sciences, in Dublin, who conducted the study using artificial intelligence concluded that there is a potential threat to public health, and a growing need to legislate marketing restrictions on flavored vaping products to the point of their complete removal from the market and predicted that: “It is likely that we are on the verge of a new wave of diseases chronicity that will appear in 15 to 20 years because of these exposures.”

The researchers also concluded that: “There is no doubt that flavors such as cotton candy, cola and cherry are aimed at children, and not at adult smokers who are trying to quit, and in light of the popularity of flavored electronic cigarettes among teenagers and young adults, understanding the long-term effects of these products on public health, morbidity And mortality is essential.” The new study was published in the scientific journal Scientific Reports in the May 2024 issue, translated and made available to the public by the Information Center of the Cancer Society.

In July 2023, the Ministerial Committee for Legislation approved MK Boaz Bismuth's bill to ban the production and marketing of smoking products with flavors and aromas, but the road to approval of the law in Israel is still long and requires additional steps and the mobilization of Knesset members and government ministries to support the law. According to the Ministry of Health data, 6.7 % of boys and girls in the 6th grades testify that they have experimented with smoking electronic cigarettes and the percentage of experimenters increases with age to 27.6% in the 11th – 12th grades. The data was presented to the Finance Committee of the Knesset last February.

It should be emphasized that scientific studies collected in recent years by the Cancer Society have found a connection between electronic cigarettes and symptoms such as coughing, vomiting, risk of asthma, high blood pressure, heart attacks, and damage to the respiratory system and lungs. As well as, damage to brain development in teenagers and young adults leading to attention problems, learning problems, emotional instability, depression and anxiety. In addition, new studies have also found genetic changes related to the development of cancerous tumors in the oral cavity, in the lung area and in the bladder in the users. At the same time around the world, dozens of deaths from vaporizer disease (EVALI), which is serious lung damage caused by the penetration of harmful substances into the lungs due to electronic cigarettes, including metal particles and a substance called vitamin E acetate, in some cases to the point of collapse of the respiratory organs, have been recorded.

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