E-cigarette users may not know that what they are inhaling has probably not been tested to see what health effects it has. New research has indicated that an additive commonly used to flavor the emissions of e-cigarettes has a variety of adverse impacts on lung cells growing in culture.
"E-cigarette emissions contain chemicals that have not been evaluated for inhalation toxicities," said Dr. Phillip Clapp, who was part of the study. "The inhalation of flavoring agents, which are frequently reactive aldehydes, poses a significant unknown in regards to the potential health risks of e-cigarette use as many of these chemicals are structurally similar to toxic aldehydes in cigarette smoke."
While this work was conducted in the lab, it does highlight the potential risks of e-cigarette use. After only one exposure to a chemical flavoring, cinnamaldehyde, disruption in the mitochondria, reduced energy production, and cilia impairment was observed in airway epithelial cells.