The You Quit, Two Quit team is presenting our qualitative research exploring reproductive age women’s reactions to ENDS (electronic nicotine delivery systems) related health messages at the National Conference on Tobacco or Health this month. The research found that women want specific, evidence-based information about ENDS to be able to make an informed decision about use. Click HERE to see the poster.
New Research Finds E-liquids are Toxic to Cells
A new study by UNC School of Medicine researchers shows that e-liquids for e-cigarettes and other “vaping” products can be toxic to human cells.
E-liquids usually contain nicotine and flavorings in a base liquid of propylene glycol and vegetable glycerin. The researchers tested how e-liquids affect growth of human cells in a lab. The more the growth of cells is reduced, the more toxic the e-liquid is.
Many of the ingredients found in e-liquids like propylene glycol and vegetable glycerin are considered safe to be eaten, but the effects of these ingredients on lung cells when they are inhaled may not be safe. In this study, even cells exposed to small doses of propylene glycol and vegetable glycerin (without other ingredients like nicotine and flavorings) showed significantly reduced growth.
The researchers found that some e-liquids are more toxic than just the base ingredients (propylene glycol and vegetable glycerin) and nicotine alone. They analyzed 148 e-liquids to find what specific ingredients were in each one and tested each e-liquid’s effect on cell growth. Overall, they found that each e-liquid could have very different ingredients from the next. They also found that the more ingredients an e-liquid had, the more toxic it was.
Two e-liquid ingredients seemed to be the most toxic: vanillin, which gives e-liquids a vanilla flavor, and cinnamaldehyde, which gives them a cinnamon flavor. These flavoring ingredients are used in many e-liquids. E-liquids with more vanillin and cinnamaldehyde were more toxic to cells.
Because e-cigarettes and “vaping” products are relatively new, there has not yet been regulation on e-liquids. But the FDA is beginning to regulate e-liquid ingredients. The findings from this study will likely help the FDA as they start regulating e-liquids. The tests used to determine how toxic e-liquids are could be used to test the more than 7,700 different e-liquids that are on the market now.
E-cigarette use is becoming more and more popular, particularly among youth and young adults, and it is important to understand how using these products can affect our bodies.
The researchers have set up a database of e-liquid ingredients and toxicity data that anyone can access. The results from their tests can be found at www.eliquidinfo.org.
More information on the study can be found here.
Full text journal article can be found here.
Why do people use electronic nicotine delivery systems (electronic cigarettes)? A content analysis of Twitter, 2012-2015
John W. Ayers, Eric C. Leas, et al., 2017
In this study, the authors dove into Twitter to explore reasons why consumers choose electronic cigarettes. Combing through original tweets, while omitting retweets, ads, and spam, the authors developed a representational sample of 2,900 tweets per year for each of the years in question. Between 2012 and 2015, the top reasons cited for ENDS use flipped: in 2012, a 43% of all “reasons for vaping” related to quitting cigarettes or traditional tobacco products. 21% of tweets dealt with issues of social image—the idea that “vaping is cool.” By 2015, tobacco cessation was cited in only 29% of sample tweets while social image accounted for 37% of all reasons for vaping. The authors suggest that the growing social acceptability of vaping, per their twitter research, mirrors how ENDS marketing has changed. Their novel approach to understanding a dynamic public health trend shows how rapidly perception and use of ENDS has changed, even within the past three years. While Twitter is an imperfect medium to study social trends, they hope their research will help future scientists “ask the right questions” about ENDS use. It may also help public health advocates and medical practitioners understand the motivations of ENDS users, ask the right questions, and provide relevant info on the the risks and impacts of ENDS.
Read the full article here: Ayers, Leas, et al. 2017