A potential carcinogen that has been banned as a food additive is present at relatively high levels in some liquids of electronic cigarettes and smokeless tobacco products, says a new study from Duke University (USA), which is now published in "JAMA Internal Medicine".
The chemical compound, called pulegona , is present in the electronic cigarettes with taste of menthol and mint, and in certain smokeless tobacco products, like chewing tobacco. Due to their carcinogenic properties, the Food and Drug Administration de EE. UU. (FDA) banned the compound as a food additive the past year in response to requests from consumer groups.
however, the agency does not regulate the presence of the chemical in e-cigarettes, promoted as safer alternatives to regular cigarettes.
"Our findings suggest that the FDA should implement measures to mitigate the health risks associated with the pulegone before you suggest to the electronic cigarettes with flavor of mint and menthol, and smokeless tobacco products as alternative for people who smoke," says Sven-Eric Jordt, lead author of the study.Their analysis found that the levels in e-cigarettes and smokeless tobacco exceeded the thresholds recommended
Jordt and Sairam V. Jabba analyzed if some of the main brands of menthol cigarettes regular, three brands of electronic cigarettes and a brand of smokeless tobacco contain enough pulegona as to be of concern. Compared the amounts of pulegona informed by the CDC with data on the risk of exposure of the FDA, the levels to which are reported the tumors related to exposure in animal studies.
Their analysis found that the levels in e-cigarettes and smokeless tobacco exceeded the thresholds recommended. Only menthol cigarettes regular contained levels below the thresholds.
"Our analysis suggests that users of electronic cigarettes with flavor of mint and menthol, and smokeless tobacco are exposed to higher levels of what the FDA considers to be acceptable for the intake of food, and higher than smokers of menthol cigarettes fuels," says Jordt.
"The tobacco industry has known for a long time the dangers of pulegona and has continuously tried to minimize their levels in the aromas of menthol cigarettes, so that the levels are much lower in menthol cigarettes in the electronic cigarettes," warns Jordt. The manufacturers of e-cigarettes may be less familiar with the dangers and use cheaper ingredients to reduce costs.
A limitation of the study is that the calculations of risk of exposure of the FDA are based on oral exposure in animal studies, . These risks can be applied to the oral exposure via tobacco smoke, but may differ for the inhalation exposure via the vapour of the electronic cigarette. No toxicity data are available on exposure by inhalation. This is a concern because toxicologists consider that the lung is more sensitive to the toxic chemicals that the digestive tract.Date Of Update: 17 September 2019, 17:00