Flavors Out

January 7, 2020

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Anchor lead: Just in time for the new year, a ban on most flavorings for vaping is poised to take effect, Elizabeth Tracey reports

Mint, mango, bubblegum…these are just a few of the flavorings that won’t be used in vaping products shortly, with an eye toward stemming the epidemic of youth vaping. Yet Panagis Galiatsatos, a lung expert at Johns Hopkins, says current legislation falls far short of where the regulations should be.

Galiatsatos: You’re comparing them to the safety of cigarettes causing lung cancer. This was an exposure of a variable to cigarette for decades. We don’t even begin screening patients for lung cancer until the age of 55. They’re comparing themselves to a product that we actually have no data to show that its safer. What we can do is extrapolate from the environmental cancer institute out of the NCI saying, yeah, these levels of toxins could cause cancer. We’ve never seen them that high but there’s reason to believe it. These products also have a high amount of nicotine concentration, far more than the traditional cigarette.  :29

Galiatsatos notes that the study that would be needed to support claims made by e-cigarette makers will never be done: one comparing smoking traditional cigarettes directly with vaping, and following people for several years to assess which diseases emerge. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.

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