Cherry flavoured e-cigarettes give off higher levels benzaldehyde than other flavours. A study published online in Thorax show that this respiratory irritant may cause more problems over the long term despite using e-cigarettes as a promising harm reduction tool for smokers.
The researchers claim that 30 puffs of these e-cigarettes usually produce higher doses than those inhaled from regular cigarettes. The flavourings used in e-cigarettes are considered safe and can be used in food products but experts have raised some concerns about the effects of prolonged inhalation of these.
Apparently, benzaldehyde is commonly used in cosmetics and is actually used as the ingredient that gives many foods its natural fruit flavour but recent studies have shown that exposure of this can irritate the airways in animals.
Scientists studied this issue to measure the benzaldehyde levels a user inhales from fruit-flavoured e-cigarettes bought online. About 145 e-cigarettes were categorised based on their labelling: 40 were grouped as berry or tropical fruit, 37 as tobacco, 15 as alcohol, 11 as chocolate or sweet, 11 as coffee or tea, 10 as mint or menthol, 10 as cherry and 11 were labelled as others.
The research team produced aerosol vapour using an automatic smoking stimulator. They measured the levels of benzaldehyde through two series of 15 puffs taken from each e-cigarette with an interval of five minutes.
They presumed that a vaper puffs on an e-cigarette up to 163 times daily so the doses from 30 puffs were compared with a conventional cigarette with a supposed permissible dose a worker may be exposed to within an eight-hour shift in the workplace.
The scientists found out that benzaldehyde was detected in 74 percent of the e-cigarettes or 108 out of 145 e-cigarettes. Cherry-flavoured products contain benzaldehyde 43 times than other products, the highest level detected.
Additionally, the irritant levels were higher from e-cigarettes than the conventional cigarette. The researchers estimate that vapers inhale 70.3 microgrammes of benzaldehyde from cherry-flavoured e-cigarettes each day. However, the researchers admit that this is 1000 times lower than the maximum exposure level permitted in workplaces.
The team asserts that the study may not be an accurate portrayal of an actual inhalation during vaping but it still shows the probable risks that can be acquired from inhaling cherry-flavoured e-cigarettes.