Regardless of the type of smoke, most of us can probably agree that cigarettes are bad for you – by that I mean unhealthy. With recent inventions such as the e-cigarette however, people are trying to move away from the inherent harmful nature of smoking. According to a study from the Roswell Park Cancer Institute, cherry flavored e-cigs contain the most benzaldehyde.
Benzaldehyde and its health effects
Unlike most confirmed harmful chemicals in cigarette smoke (over 70 are carcinogenic on their own), benzaldehyde is a chemical that hasn’t yet been investigated for too long.
Not many things are known about it except that it is found in most fruit flavored electronic cigarettes, that it comes in various concentrations, that it irritates the lungs, and that it smells like almonds and tastes like cherries.
Long-term exposure is believed to be hazardous to one’s health, and according to the team behind the research, 108 out of 145 flavored e-cigs contain very high levels of the chemical.
Used in food, cosmetics, and pharmaceuticals, benzaldehyde is understandably bad for your airways, in the short term leading to inflamed airways, irritated skin and eyes, as well as coughing fits and sore throats.
Puff, the magic smoking machine
For their tests, the team of researchers led by Roswell Park Cancer Institute’s oncology assistant professor Maciej Goniewicz created a machine that simulates smoking from e-cigarettes.
After determining that cherry flavored e-cigarettes contain the highest amounts of the chemical, the team first made sure to advise people that if they experience any of the above mentioned symptoms they should switch to a different e-cig flavor, one with less benzaldehyde.
Next, they used the automatic smoke simulator to puff 30 times from each flavored e-cigarette, determining that the average dose of inhaled chemicals for an experienced vaper is of about 163 puffs a day.
Contrary opinions and follow-ups
Of course, the American Vaping Association (yes, there is such a thing) claims that there isn’t anything to be worried about, but of course that’s what they’d say.
They attempted to calm down spirits by explaining that it would take three years of vaping to reach the maximum safe levels of benzaldehyde during 8 hours at work – which actually isn’t that comforting knowing that smokers do smoke more than just at work and that 3 years isn’t that long a time.
The study, on the other hand, didn’t really do much to discourage smoking, only claiming that the chemical causes some quantifiable side effects for short term users, and claiming to start new research on the benzaldehyde’s effects on long-term vapers.
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