Calls to ban menthol vapes grow as study finds mint flavors are far more toxic to the lungs

Calls to ban menthol vapes mount as study shows mint flavors far more toxic to the lungs

Menthol-containing e-cigarettes like this Elfbar used by a contributor produce more toxic particles than those that don’t use menthol, according to a study

Experts are calling for a ban on menthol vapes after a study found that mint flavors make e-cigarettes far more toxic to the lungs.

Researchers at the University of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, compared the vapor released by popular menthol and non-menthol vapes in a lab.

They found that menthol-containing e-cigarettes generated far more toxic microparticles compared to the menthol-free varieties.

An analysis of nearly two dozen vapers also found that users of e-cigarettes containing menthol had worse breathing and unhealthier lungs compared to those who vaped other flavors.

Lead author of the study Dr. Kambez Benam said: “Many people, especially young people, mistakenly assume that vaping is safe.

“But even nicotine-free vapor mixes contain many compounds that can potentially damage the lungs.”

The map above shows the states where e-cigarettes containing menthol are banned.  So far, this only applies to California and Massachusetts

The map above shows the states where e-cigarettes containing menthol are banned. So far, this only applies to California and Massachusetts

E-cigarettes were once seen as a healthy way to quit smoking and even a relatively safe alternative.

But a slew of studies have now begun to show that they carry many of the same health risks as traditional cigarettes.

In their study, scientists used a specially designed “vaping robot” that mimicked the mechanics of someone sniffing a vape.

In their previous research, Dr. Benam and his team found that vitamin E acetate, a common additive in cannabis vapes, generates more toxic small particles that can penetrate deep into the lungs and settle in the narrowest airways and the lining of the walls of the lungs. trachea can nest. bronchus.

The new study found that menthol additives may be just as dangerous as vitamin E acetate, which was strongly linked to lung damage in e-cigarette and vaping users.

The team then conducted an analysis involving 94 people, 25 of whom used e-cigarettes containing menthol and another 69 said they used vapes with other flavors.

The participants were already enrolled in a separate study focusing on lung disease that included surveys, physical checks, and scans.

The researchers found that the lungs of menthol users could not expel as much air as those using other vapes.

“The main message we want to get out is to people, especially young adults, who have not smoked before,” said Dr Benam.

“Switching to e-cigarettes may be a better, safer alternative for someone trying to quit smoking regular tobacco products.

“But it’s important to have a full knowledge of the risks and benefits of e-cigarettes before trying them.”

The research has been published in the journal Respiratory examination.