Editorial: Vaping’s hidden dangers
It’s too bad that a new Stanford study on flavored e-cigarette risks was released just this week, instead of a few months earlier.
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It’s too bad that a new Stanford study on flavored e-cigarette risks was released just this week, instead of a few months earlier. If out earlier, it might have persuaded Hawaii legislators to do the right thing and ban flavored vaping products, which have youth-targeting names such as Gummy Bears, Cotton Candy and Cookie Monsta. Instead, twin bills died in this year’s legislative session.
The new study — led by Dr. Joseph Wu, director of the Stanford Cardiovascular Institute, and published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology — adds to growing evidence that flavored e-liquids used in vapes can hinder human cells’ ability to survive and function.
The Wu team’s work on human cells in the lab found evidence that e-cigarette flavors can damage the cells that line blood vessels, and perhaps, heart health down the line. Cinnamon and menthol flavors, in particular, had negative effects on the blood-vessel cells.
In Hawaii, Senate Bill 1009/House Bill 276 attempted to ban the sale of flavored tobacco products, including menthol and flavored e-liquids. Bill advocates noted Hawaii’s youth vaping epidemic, in which 8 in 10 youths who use tobacco start with a flavored product. Ending the sale of candy-flavored tobacco products, they rightly urged, would help keiki avoid a lifetime of addiction to tobacco and nicotine.
That’s the exact sentiment echoed by Wu this week, from across the Pacific: “There’s so many kids who are smoking e-cigarettes. And these kids are going to become adults. And these adults can become elderly patients that I as a cardiologist will take care of later on.”