Researchers are still in the early stages of figuring out the potential health hazards of associated with certain vaping flavors — as well as the dangers of vaping in general. So it can be tough for e-cig enthusiasts to know just how much damage — if any — they might be doing to their health.
And that can be kind of annoying since, for many people, vaping is used as a alternative option to replace cigarette smoking, which is obviously all sorts of dangerous. For others, vaping is just a hobby, and one that comes with a variety of flavors to try. But it’s still important to weigh the pros and cons, and recognize that vaping may be dangerous, when choosing a flavor.
If you’ve ever been to a vaping store in search of e-cigarette liquids, then you know the flavor choices are pretty much endless. There are common flavors like strawberry, cola, and cherry, as well as more exotic flavors like cereal and buttered popcorn. And then there are super bizarre flavors, with names like Blue Jupiter Moon Exploration. (I made that up.)
The problem with vaping liquids is, you never know what you’re inhaling. And therefore, you should never assume any flavor is 100 percent safe. There may, however, be certain vaping flavors that are more risky than others, due to the chemicals that go into making them. Here are a few flavors all vapers might want to avoid, until we have more information.
The chemicals that go into creating the cinnamon flavor “are among the most toxic in terms of damaging white blood cells (monocytes) in e-liquid juices,” Emily Wood, a Cannabis Advisor at Honest Herb, tells Bustle.
Cinnamon was even listed in a study published in the journal Frontiers in Physiology as one of the most toxic vaping flavors. So even though it smells like a delicious breakfast, it may be one worth avoiding.
Vanilla also tops the toxic list, due to the fact it contains the flavoring chemical “o-vanillin,” which can be harmful to health. Again, chemicals like this one “have been linked to cell death,” Caleb Backe, a health and wellness expert at Maple Holistics, tells Bustle.
Flavors like this one can be tricky to avoid — due to the fact vaping ingredients aren’t always clearly listed or made available to consumers — but it never hurts to read labels and avoid companies that aren’t transparent.
The popcorn flavor is another big one, with a rich history. Back in the 1990s, several employees of a Missouri popcorn factory started complaining of coughing and wheezing symptoms. It was later discovered their lung problems were due to an “irreversible lung disease: bronchiolitis obliterans, which would later be nicknamed ‘popcorn lung,'” reporter Diana Crow noted in The Atlantic. “Its cause was traced back to the chemical behind popcorn’s buttery flavor.”
Due to this association, it may not be safe to inhale popcorn flavor vaping liquids. “It’s best for consumers to avoid this chemical at all costs in their e-liquids and stick to vegetable glycerin (VG) e-liquids instead,” Wood says. “VG juice has been shown to be a healthier alternative than other e-liquid chemicals on the market but consumers should be cautious using VG if they are allergic to coconut or palm oil.”