By Steven Reinberg 

HealthDay Reporter

TUESDAY, April 11, 2023 (HealthDay Information) — Including menthol flavoring to digital cigarettes could injury your lungs greater than common e-cigarettes do, a brand new examine reveals.

The widespread mint flavoring helps ship tons extra poisonous microparticles, in contrast with e-cigarette pods that do not comprise menthol. It is these microparticles that injury lung operate, researchers say.

“Watch out for components within the e-cigarettes,” mentioned senior researcher Kambez Benam, an affiliate professor within the division of pulmonary, allergy and demanding care medication on the College of Pittsburgh’s College of Medication.

“When you vape, they’ll make you inhale extra particles into your lungs. Don‘t assume that since menthol is a substance naturally present in mint vegetation and added to some meals and drinks, it will be advantageous to inhale,” he mentioned.

“Menthol flavoring results in a considerably greater variety of particle counts that one would take into their lungs by vaping them,” he mentioned. “E-cigarette aerosols are identified to comprise many dangerous substances, equivalent to nicotine and formaldehyde.”

A lot of research have recommended that e-cigarette vapor may cause lung irritation, oxidative stress, DNA injury and airway hyper-responsiveness that may set off bronchial asthma, Benam mentioned. Vaping these substances may cause lung injury that impairs lung operate. Menthol, he added, is such a poisonous substance.

To take a look at the potential hazard of menthol, Benam’s group developed a “vaping robotic” that mimics the temperature, humidity, puff quantity and period of vaping to foretell lung injury from e-cigarettes.

The system measures the scale and variety of aerosolized microparticles and the way they act, relying on what’s within the liquid. The results are examined on a so-called “lung-on-chip” machine that calculates potential toxicity. What did it discover? There have been extra poisonous microparticles emitted with menthol vaping liquid.

An accompanying evaluation of affected person data for e-cigarette people who smoke discovered that menthol vapers took shallower breaths and had poorer lung operate in comparison with non-menthol vapers.

In earlier analysis, Benam’s group discovered that vitamin E acetate, a typical additive in e-cigarette liquid that comprises THC (the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana), generates tiny poisonous particles that lodge within the small airways within the lungs and partitions of the trachea and bronchus.

This newest examine, which was revealed on-line April 11 within the journal Respiratory Analysis, means that menthol components might be as harmful as vitamin E acetate, the researchers famous.

In the meantime, a motion is afoot to ban menthol. In 2022, the U.S. Meals and Drug Administration proposed banning menthol in common cigarettes and denied the advertising and marketing of two menthol-flavored e-cigarettes as a strategy to cease kids from beginning smoking or vaping.

“It was believed and, in lots of circumstances, continues to be believed that the digital cigarette is a greater various to the flamable cigarette,” mentioned Jennifer Sidi, director of the Heart for Tobacco Management at Northwell Well being in New Hyde Park, N.Y.

“Nonetheless, analysis is being carried out to disprove that perception. Digital cigarettes additionally comprise quite a few harmful chemical substances, and it’s changing into evident that they don’t seem to be essentially a more healthy possibility,” she mentioned.

Menthol is thought to trigger a numbing or cooling impact to cigarettes, subsequently, making smoking extra satisfying, Sidi defined.

“Including menthol, nevertheless, has allowed people who smoke to inhale deeper, resulting in the inhalation of extra carcinogens. That is resulting in an elevated variety of lung cancers, and lung cancers which might be being found deeper into the lung cavities,” she mentioned.

The addition of menthol to e-cigarettes has an identical impression to menthol added to flamable cigarettes, Sidi famous.

“A bigger quantity of harmful chemical substances are inhaled with the addition of menthol. These chemical substances may cause elevated injury to the lungs simply as they might with the common cigarette,” she mentioned. “This begs the query if there’s actually any profit to smoking digital cigarettes over flamable ones.”

Sadly, e-cigarettes proceed to realize recognition amongst youthful youngsters. “Analysis is proving that they don’t seem to be a safer possibility,” Sidi warned, “and the younger and impressionable inhabitants is the one being focused to buy the digital cigarettes.”

Extra info

For extra on menthol, head to the American Lung Affiliation.


SOURCES: Kambez Benam, DPhil, affiliate professor, division of pulmonary, allergy and demanding care medication, College of Pittsburgh College of Medication, Penn.; Jennifer Sidi, NP, director, Heart for Tobacco Management, Northwell Well being, New Hyde Park, N.Y.; Respiratory Analysis, April 11, 2023, on-line

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