The study titled, “In vitro and in vivo cardiac toxicity of flavored electronic nicotine delivery systems,” aimed to determine the impact of flavouring chemicals on heart health by exposing heart cells from mice to flavour additives in a lab environment.
“The flavored electronic nicotine delivery systems widely popular among teens and young adults are not harm-free,” said lead study author Dr. Sami Noujaim in a university release. “Altogether, our findings in the cells and mice indicate that vaping does interfere with the normal functioning of the heart and can potentially lead to cardiac rhythm disturbances.”
More specifically, reported the study, vanillin aldehyde flavoured e-liquids reduced the hERG current in transfected human embryonic kidney cells. In mice the inhalation of this flavour additive, reportedly increased sympathetic predominance in heart rate variability measurements.
Why this study is flawed
“Mice are not little people. No drug can get into the approval cycle at the US Food and Drug Administration if it only studied them or cells in dishes,” he added. Moreover, explained Campbell, in the study, the HL-1 cells from mice and later the lab produced human cells, were inundated with levels of vaping chemicals that a human body could not get exposed to in 40,000 years.
“Mice were also forced to inhale the human equivalent of 200 e-cigarettes per day for the human equivalent of 10 years. No creature could endure that without suffering heart issues, and no human would spend 16 hours per day vaping non-stop. It is not relevant to human exposure in any way, and exposure is what matters in 100 percent of cases,” explained Campbell in more detail.
The error was in the interpretation of the findings
The health expert added that technically there was nothing wrong with the study. The error was in the way the results were interpreted. He also highlighted that as always, any data related to vaping needs to be taken in the right context, with vaping being compared to smoking as a means of reducing harm or quitting altogether.