A woman exhales vapor from an electronic cigarette at The Vapor Spot vapor bar in Los Angeles, California, March 4, 2014. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni

As more studies are conducted on the safety of using e-cigarettes to answer the question of whether they are a safer option to smoking tobacco products, scientists are finding that the side effects of the two are generally the same.

According to results of a study published on the Journal of American College of Cardiology, there are certain types of vaping liquids that can increase one’s risk for health disease.

The research found that some of the most popular e-cigarette flavors were more toxic to endothelial cells than others. Such cells are an important part of cardiovascular health, and when these were exposed to vape products in a lab setting, they showed signs of dysfunction and degradation. The flavors that were tested included fruit, menthol, tobacco, sweet tobacco with vanilla or caramel, cinnamon, and sweet butterscotch.

Of the six flavors studied, menthol and cinnamon exhibited the most damage of endothelial cells, as these disabled the cells from forming new blood vessels. They also reduced cell viability, even without the presence of nicotine.

The numbers are concerning, especially that most of those who use vapes or e-cigarettes are the youth. According to the US FDA, around 3.6 million middle and high school kids were classified as e-cig users — and that’s just for 2018. This number is double what was recorded in 2017, so it’s safe to say that the number of users in 2019 have grown so much more. The popularity of vapes is attributed to the misconception that they are “safer” than traditional cigarettes and tobacco products.

There are some studies that say vapes do contain fewer carcinogens than regular tobacco, but the fact remains that both are carcinogenic. In fact, 10 minutes of exposure to both products yielded similar nicotine levels in the blood. And because vapes are more “delicious” and sweeter smelling, it will be faster to load the body of toxic nicotine levels without really realizing what’s happening.

At present, e-cigarettes have been banned by the FDA to be sold only at adult venues, but sale over the internet simply could not be controlled. The youth still has access to e-cigarette products, mostly because many are still unaware of the dangers. When a sweet-tasting vice is said to threaten heart health, it is difficult for users to immediately accept the reality of its dangers. It is, thus, necessary to publish further studies about its ill effects and to launch a more active information dissemination campaign.