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Menthol makes e-cigarette vapor more toxic – here’s why

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Menthol flavored e-cigarettes are more harmful to the lungs than other ‘flavors’. This is supported by experts from the University of Pittsburgh in a study recently published in the journal Respiratory examination
for which they cross-referenced the results obtained from a new robotic platform and from information collected on smoking patients with respiratory problems.

The study: the harm of menthol (banned in Europe)

Using a special robotic system that mimics the mechanisms of human breathing, even while smoking, the researchers have shown that commercially available menthol-containing e-liquids generate a greater number (compared to other aromas) of toxic microparticles. In addition, an analysis of data from e-cigarette users indicated that users of these mint-flavored products had shorter breath and poorer respiratory function compared to other e-cigarette vapers, whether or not they contained nicotine. “Many people, especially the young, believe that vaping is a safe choice for health, but it is not – he underlines Robert Boffi, pulmonologist, chief of Pulmonology and the Anti-Smoking Center at the IRCCS National Cancer Institute of Milan —. Even non-nicotine fluids contain many different substances that can damage the lungs, even more so in adolescents and boysmore sensitive to the harm of smoking. In Europe, menthol is banned in liquids for electronic devices as well as in “conventional” cigarettes, because it has been shown that increases the addictive potential of nicotine. In the US, on the other hand, in 2020 the Trump administration banned the sale of the most popular e-cigarette flavors among adolescents (fruit, mint, candy or various caramel flavors) in small cartridges, which are more common among young people.

The disadvantages of smoking

Numerous studies have documented that e-cigarettes carry fewer risks than traditional tobacco, “but they are not harmless due to the presence of some hazardous substances, such as heavy metals and aldehydes (particularly formaldehyde, which is a carcinogen) in the aerosol – he recalls Boffi — scientific studies have also emphasized an increase in respiratory disorders in adolescents and children who vape, such as bronchitis, asthma, wheezing, inflammation. And then a lot of evidence has been collected about the damage to the lungs of young people and adults, including a certain range of lipoid pneumonia, which can occur as a result of continuously inhaling oily substances. Finally, as the statistics coming out of the United States indicate, e-cigarettes could be the gateway for the youngest to the habit of “real” smoking, to traditional cigarettes». A trend already underway in Italy, where the latest studies indicate that the number of children (including minors, despite the bans) who smoke e-cigarettes and new tobacco products (heated tobacco cigarettes, heated tobacco productshtp). Smoking is the leading cause of death in our country, responsible for 83,000 deaths per year alone. More than 80 percent of the 40,000 cases of lung cancer annually diagnosed in Italy concerns who is (or was) a smoker and many types of tumors are directly related to tobacco, to which must be added thousands of cases of more than 40 different pathologies, starting with respiratory and cardiovascular.

Source: Corriere

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