Cherry Flavored E-Cigarettes Most Harmful: Study Finds They Irritate Airways More Than Other Flavors, Traditional Cigarettes

A new study suggests that cherry flavored e-cigarettes may be the most harmful for your health. In fact, the cherry flavored vapors may even be more irritating to the airways than traditional cigarettes. A new study found that the cherry flavored vapes contained higher levels of benzaldehyde which is a known respiratory irritant.

The Daily Mail reports that e-cigarette users may want to steer clear of cherry flavored e-cig products. A new research study found that cherry flavored e-cigarettes contained higher levels of benzaldehyde than other flavors and more than traditional cigarettes. Therefore, the study warned e-cig users to avoid the flavor as the long-term effects of inhaling benzaldehyde are unknown.

According to Newsweek, benzaldehyde is used in many edible products that have fruit flavoring. Likewise, the “natural” flavoring is also used in e-cigarette products to produce a fruit flavor. Though the benzaldehyde is present in almost all flavors, the cherry flavored e-cigarettes contained the highest levels of inhalable benzaldehyde which has many scientists concerned about potential future risks.

Benzaldehyde is considered safe for use in food products when ingested; however, it has also been proven to cause respiratory issues when inhaled in animals as well as workplace studies. In fact, the MSDS safety sheet for benzaldehyde outlines concerns with breathing the product. The MSDS calls inhalation of benzaldehyde a “very hazardous” concern and also notes the compound as a known carcinogenic.

“Very hazardous in case of ingestion. Hazardous in case of skin contact (irritant), of eye contact (irritant), of inhalation. Slightly hazardous in case of skin contact (permeator).”

The safety sheet goes on to explain that if benzaldehyde is inhaled, the room should be ventilated immediately and oxygen given to those who inhaled the compound. Furthermore, it is noted on the MSDS that “serious inhalation” has not been studied or is not available.

“Inhalation: If inhaled, remove to fresh air. If not breathing, give artificial respiration. If breathing is difficult, give oxygen. Get medical attention. Serious Inhalation: Not available.”

With the e-cigarettes being inhaled by users it is unclear why benzaldehyde is allowed in the product. However, it seems that the compound is used in low enough quantities that it does not cause immediate concern. Though there is not immediate risk, the researchers note that long-term risk is highly likely.

For the study, researchers performed tests on 145 different e-cigarette vapes in a variety of flavors. Flavors in the study included tropical, berry, tobacco, alcohol, chocolate, and candy, coffee and tea, menthol and cherry. The researchers then measured levels of benzaldehydes by creating aerosol vapors with an automatic smoking simulator and tested 30 puffs of each. They then calculated the levels of benzaldehydes for 163 puffs.

The researchers found that cherry flavored e-cigarettes contained 43 percent more benzaldehyde than other flavors. The result is a warning from researchers about using the cherry flavored e-vapors until further research can be performed.

Though researchers are warning about cherry flavored e-cigarettes, the vaping community says the research should be viewed with a grain of salt. The American Vaping Association president Gregory Conley notes that it would take an e-cigarette user three years to meet the exposure level a worker is exposed to in an eight-hour shift.

What do you think of the research and Conley’s response? Do you use e-cigarettes? If so, do you plan to exclude cherry flavored vapors from your vaping due to the new safety concerns? What do you think of the e-cigarette study?

[Photo by Dan Kitwood/ Getty Images]