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E-cigarette flavors come in various flavors such as strawberry, banana and bubblegum. These flavors are especially appealing to the youth, making e-cigarettes an appealing product marketed as safer than traditional tobacco cigarettes.

Tobacco is one of the most dangerous products because it cause various health complications including lung cancer. It is thus no surprise that there have been aggressive campaigns to render them obsolete and completely discourage their use. The anti-cigarette campaign paved the way for other alternatives, particularly the e-cigarette which is currently considered a safer option but a recent study suggests otherwise.

Australia’s University of Adelaide School of Medicine, the Royal Adelaide Hospital and University of California San Diego School of Medicine jointly conducted research to determine whether e-cigarettes are healthy. The researchers discovered that the flavors used in e-cigarettes contain harmful chemicals that can cause considerable damage to the lungs despite nicotine’s presence or absence.

Dr. Laura Crotty Alexander, an associate professor of medicine at U.C San Diego noted that 99 percent of e-cigarettes in the market use liquid flavors. The companies that make those flavors add chemical substances to boost the accuracy of the flavors. The researchers also found that the chemicals damage the lungs and they also influence less production of proteins that maintain the immune system, thus leading to immune decline.

The scientists observed 21 study participants who vape regularly and it is during the study that they observed changes in inflammatory proteins that are associated with disease susceptibility. The researchers found that the regular vapers had irregular protein levels in their airways and their saliva compared to non-vaping individuals.

The study also featured 10 different flavors used in e-cigarettes and the observations indicate that all of them cause damage to the lungs. However, some of the flavors cause more damage than others due to higher toxicity levels. Dr. Laura Crotty Alexander, the lead researcher in the study noted in the study publication that the research highlights the need to watch out for the content used to make liquid flavors.

Dr. Crotty also noted that almost all the flavors affected the lungs’ ability to clear bacteria caused by lung-cell toxicity due to vaping. They also pinpointed the chocolate flavor as the one with the highest toxicity levels because it almost completely blocked the alveolar macrophages’ ability to clear the bacteria.