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A recent study from Ireland has found that flavoured vapes may produce over 100 toxic chemicals that can cause immediate harm. The study used artificial intelligence to analyze how chemicals from 180 vape flavours transform and affect the human body when heated. These chemicals are not specifically developed for vaping and are commonly found in food and cosmetics. When heated to high temperatures, they create unknown secondary chemical entities that can be harmful when inhaled into the lungs. The research team identified 127 acute toxins, 153 health hazards, and 225 irritants in the vaping products studied.

Acute toxins are harmful chemicals that can cause immediate adverse effects, even from a single dose. Exposing the body to these toxins can lead to serious injury if the dose is high enough. Previous studies have also found harmful chemicals in vaping products, including in Canada and the United States. A U.S. study indicated that vaping can increase the risk of exposure to lead, uranium, and cadmium, which can cause systemic harm and increase the risk of certain cancers and osteoporosis, particularly in young people. Despite a slight decrease in youth vaping rates, Canadian teenagers still have some of the highest rates of e-cigarette use worldwide.

The Canadian federal government announced plans to ban most vape flavours and formulate existing flavours with ingredients approved by Health Canada. While these regulations have not been implemented yet, some provinces and territories have already banned flavoured vapes. Health Canada emphasizes that vaping can produce harmful chemicals and is not harmless, especially for young people and those who do not use tobacco products. The research team behind the study hopes that their findings will serve as a public health resource and prompt political leaders to implement regulations on vape products to limit the number of harmful chemicals in e-liquids.

The AI tool used in the study simulated how 180 vape flavours decompose when heated at high temperatures, revealing that nearly every flavour analyzed contained at least one product classified as a health hazard. The accumulation of these toxins, even at low doses over time, can cause cellular damage in the lungs and potentially lead to various diseases. The study suggests that stricter regulation of the chemicals used in e-liquids is necessary to protect public health. A chemistry professor involved in the study emphasizes the importance of political leaders taking responsibility for regulating vaping products and preventing them from being easily accessible to teenagers.

The study conducted at Dublin’s RCSI University of Medicine and Health Sciences highlights the need to address the potential risks of vaping on human health. The researchers suggest limiting the number of chemical entities in e-liquids to reduce the harm caused by toxic chemicals introduced when vaping. The study emphasizes the need for regulations to ensure the safety and health of consumers, particularly young people who may be more susceptible to the harmful effects of vaping. It is essential for adults and politicians to prioritize public health and take action to protect individuals from the dangers associated with vaping products.

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