Researchers Find Certain Vape Flavors More Dangerous Than Others

The popularity of flavored e-cigarettes among teens and young adults has been a concern for some time, with an increasing amount of research pointing to the harmful effects vaping has on the health and development of young people.

According to a 2021 National Youth Tobacco Survey (NYTS) led by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), over two million middle and high school students reported using e-cigarettes. Even though the vapor in e-cigarettes tastes, smells, and feels harmless when inhaled and exhaled, it actually contains a multitude of heavy metals and harmful chemicals known to cause lung disease and cancer, per the CDC. It turns out that 99% of e-cigarettes also contain nicotine, which is harmful to developing brains and puts teens at a higher risk for addictions to other drugs in the future (via the CDC).

While there are health risks associated with all e-cigarettes, new research has found that certain vape flavors may pose more health risks than others.

Mint vape flavors may be more harmful to our health

A 2022 study published in eLife has found that mint-flavored vapes can be even worse for users. Researchers used mice subjects to observe the effects that two popular e-cigarette flavors, mint, and mango, had on their brain, heart, and overall physical health. The study used JUUL devices, a popular e-cigarette vaping option, and found that both flavors were linked to heart and lung disease as well as issues with gut health and changes within the brain that could lead to anxiety, depression, addiction, and substance abuse issues (via Medical News Today). 

While both flavors were associated with negative effects on mental and physical health, the mint-flavored vape cartridges also carried additional health risks. Study author and chief of Pulmonary Critical Care at Veterans Affairs San Diego Healthcare System Dr. Laura Crotty Alexander reported to Medical News Today that the chemicals that make up the mint-flavored JUUL cartridges held additional risk factors for the cardiovascular system and surmised that those who used the mint flavors may be more sensitive to infections like pneumonia and COVID-19. Due to these findings, Dr. Crotty Alexander highlighted the necessity for future research to focus on flavor-specific health risks as it pertains to other vaping and e-cigarette options, per Medical News Today.