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Flavored vapes could spawn ‘new wave of chronic diseases,’ researchers warn

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The use of flavored e-liquids in vaping devices may lead to the formation of nearly 300 different harmful substances, results of a recent study out of Ireland suggest.

Researchers used artificial intelligence to simulate the effects of heating e-liquid flavor chemicals found in nicotine vapes and predict the new compounds that form as a result.

The analysis, which included all 180 known e-liquid flavor chemicals, revealed the formation of 127 “acute toxic” chemicals and 153 that pose “health hazards.” In addition, the AI simulation predicted the development of 225 substances described as “irritants.”

“We wanted to understand, before it’s too late, the likely impact flavored vapes are having on the health of the growing number of vapers,” said lead study author Donal O’Shea, head of the chemistry department at the RCSI University of Medicine and Health Sciences in Dublin. “Our findings indicate a significantly different profile of chemical hazards compared to what we are familiar with from traditional tobacco smoking.

“It is plausible that we are on the cusp of a new wave of chronic diseases that will emerge 15 to 20 years from now due to these exposures. We hope this research will help people make more informed choices and contribute to the conversation on the potential long-term health risks and the regulation of vaping, which this research suggests should be comprehensive.”

The study was published online in the journal Scientific Reports.

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