Flavourings in e-cigs can be harmful, says study
Flavourings used in e-cigarettes contain potentially harmful levels of chemicals, researchers have warned.
While the flavourings used are mostly the same as those found in food and have therefore passed safety tests, this applies to them being eaten rather than inhaled.
A study carried out at Portland State University in Oregon analysed the chemicals used to flavour e-cigarette fluid in 30 products and found a "significant" number were aldehydes - compounds recognised to be primary respiratory irritants.
Assuming a consumption rate of 5ml-a-day, researchers said e-cigarette users would be exposed to twice the recommended occupational exposure limits of benzaldehyde and vanillin.
The study quoted a recent report that found an "astonishing 7,764 unique flavour names" available online in January last year, with 242 new flavours being added each month and sales occurring under 466 brands.
"These results suggest that very high levels of some flavour chemicals are present in a great number of the thousands of products available," said the researchers.
The study said e-cigarettes are being used by growing numbers of young non-smokers, leading to "significant concerns that they could seriously undermine the success of recent tobacco control strategies".