While e-cigarettes are not considered as risky as regular cigarettes, researchers may have found a link between flavorings and a bad effect on the heart. In laboratory dishes, scientists grew cells that normally line the healthy human blood vessels. They then exposed cells to six different e-cigarette flavorings, testing if the flavors caused any effects. This method eliminated the possibility that nicotine caused any adverse effects. They also analyzed the effects of bathing those cells in blood taken from people right after they had an e-cigarette. Finally, they did a comparison of the cells’ exposure to blood from nonsmokers and people who smoked a regular cigarette.
They found that vaping with some flavors – even without nicotine – triggered blood vessel dysfunction that could increase the risk of heart disease. It appeared cinnamon and menthol seemed to be the most toxic of flavors. But overall for all flavors, cells showed signs of damage and were inflamed, less able to form new blood vessels or heal wounds. In other words, vaping alone may bring on adverse medical consequences.
It has been pointed out that small laboratory studies like this one are not conclusive proof that vaping does cause harm, but these findings should cause concern. And more testing should be done. In fact, the same scientific team plans additional studies, including tests of heart and brain tissue.