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Side effects of flavored e-cirgarettes may result in damage to blood vessels for individuals who vape, greatly increasing their risk of cardiovascular disease, according to the findings of new research.
In a study published in the June issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, all e-cigarette liquid flavors damage the cells that line blood vessels. However, certain e-liquid flavors may pose a particularly high risk.
Researchers tested six e-liquids with different nicotine concentrations on the endothelial cells lining the blood vessels. They varied the levels of nicotine present in the liquids from 0, 6, and 18 milligrams per milliliter.
The data indicates using e-cigarettes significantly increased levels of DNA damage and cell death. Effects included poor cell survival and signs of increased inflammation on endothelial cardiovascular cells.
Researchers noted the toxicity of e-cigarette liquid varied. Most e-liquids were moderately toxic to the cells. However, cinnamon and menthol caused the most cell damage. Flavors like caramel and vanilla also disrupted cell growth, but not as severely.
Vaping can hinder human cell ability to survive and function. It also changes the cells ability to heal wounds or damage, research has indicated. As it affects the cells that line blood vessels, this can play a role in developing heart disease prematurely.
Other research has also linked side effects vaping to heart problems, including an increased risk of heart attack, heart disease, and stroke.
This study tested only six flavors of e-liquid, yet thousands of flavors are sold nationally. It is unclear which flavor component is responsible for the damage.
Advocates say e-cigarettes are a better option than smoking because they contain fewer cancer causing chemicals than traditional cigarettes, but recent research indicates that may not be the case. The devices may not be entirely safe and pose different threats to human health than traditional cigarettes.
Since e-cigarettes are now the most popular form of tobacco among the nation’s youth, the habit is quickly becoming more of a threat to young people than ever before, health experts warn. Researchers say it is essential to continue research to determine what the effects of the habit may pose to users and the next generation.