Dr. Atul Kumar Saxena
Head of Chemistry Department
Oak Grove School (Northern Railway)
A flavoring chemical, linked to cases of severe respiratory disease, was found in more than 75% of flavored electronic cigarettes and refill liquids tested by researchers at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. Two other potentially harmful related compounds were also found in many of the tested flavors, which included varieties with potential appeal to young people.
Electronic cigarettes, also known as e-cigarettes or vapour cigarettes, are battery-operated devices that resemble traditional cigarettes. However, instead of burning tobacco, they generally contain cartridges filled with nicotine and other chemicals. When the e-cigarette is used, the liquid chemicals in the cartridge are turned into a vapour or steam that is inhaled by the smoker. E-cigarettes may contain harmful substances. However, the types or concentrations of chemicals, including nicotine, vary based on the brand. Because e-cigarettes have only been readily available in the United States since 2006, there is limited research on their health risks. The FDA started regulating e-cigarettes on August 8, 2016 and has not approved e-cigarettes as a way to quit smoking. People with cancer who want to quit smoking should use evidence-based methods for quitting smoking. Learn more about the options available to quit smoking. Smokeless tobacco products contain tobacco or tobacco blends that are either chewed, sucked, or sniffed. Most smokeless tobacco products are placed between the cheek or lips and gums for a few minutes to hours. They have many names, such as spit tobacco, chew, pinch, or dip, and fall into several categories.“Flavoring Chemicals in E-Cigarettes: Diacetyl, 2,3-Pentanedione, and Acetoin in a Sample of 51 1 Products, Including Fruit-, Candy-, and Cocktail-Flavored E-Cigarettes. At least one of the three chemicals was detected in 47 of the 51 flavors tested. Diacetyl was detected above the laboratory limit of detection in 39 of the flavors tested. Acetoin and 2,3-pentanedione were detected in 46 and 23 and of the flavors, respectively. “Most of the health concerns about e-cigarettes have focused on nicotine, there is still much we do not know about e-cigarettes. In addition to containing varying levels of the addictive substance nicotine, they also contain other cancer-causing chemicals, such as formaldehyde, and as our study shows, flavoring chemicals that can cause lung damage,” said study co-author of Genetics.
Health Risks of E-cigarettes:
Although cigarette smoking has been steadily—but slowly—declining in the United States, many different alternative tobacco and nicotine delivery products have been gaining popularity. This is partly because many alternative tobacco products—which come in various sizes, flavors, and forms—are marketed and often perceived as being relatively safe.
However, alternative tobacco products, such as e-cigarettes, smokeless tobacco, and water pipes may cause serious potential health problems, including cancer, because of the chemicals and toxins they contain. Because of these potential health risks, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) started regulating these products like other tobacco products, such as cigarettes.
Youth and E-cigarettes
Youth are using e-cigarettes at increasing and alarming rates. Between 2014 and 2015, CDC studies found e-cigarette use among high school students increased by 19 percent, with more teens now using e-cigarettes than cigarettes.
The tobacco industry aggressively markets e-cigarettes to youth, glamorizing e-cigarette use in advertisements and offering e-cigarettes in candy flavors like bubble gum and gummy bears.