On Friday, federal regulators are requiring more public information about components and chemicals added to e-liquid and e-cigarettes.
The Food and Drug Administration, also known as FDA, has just stated that it is asking for comments on a recent proposal that could include 19 chemical components to the already accepted list of hazardous substances found in all tobacco products.
“Since our scientific knowledge and understanding of tobacco products have progressed, our requirements and rules for importers and manufacturers should also evolve to provide more information about the chemical substances and chemicals in their products which would lead to harmful effects to non-users and users,” said Ned Sharpless – the FDA Commissioner – in the statement.
This would include those substances released when e-liquids are heated, which creates a vapor which smokers breathe into the lungs.
The action comes just a few days after an analysis from Yale University find out chemicals known as acetals in several flavors of Juul – the leading e-cigarette brand in the United States.
The scientists suggested that these substances might be particularly annoying to the lungs and result in damages when breathed in. Nevertheless, the study didn’t test for those effects in animals or humans.
A spokesperson of Juul dismissed the new study from the Yale researchers, claiming in a statement, “The hypothetical analysis of the Yale researchers didn’t take real-world conditions into consideration, including realistic exposure of humans to vapor products.”
One of the chemical substances that the FDA is planning to add to the dangerous list is diacetyl, a chemical that brings a butter-like flavor to tobacco products.
“We have witnessed a growing number of researches emphasizing that flavors of e-liquid are especially problematic,” said a tobacco expert in Denver, Colorado.
The FDA is considering artificial flavors that are currently used in foods as “basically seen as safe,” but less is recognized about the effects of breathing in these flavors with aerosols in the long run.
“What has not been completed are tests to determine whether or not these chemical substances still remain safe for human’s consumption. Is there any harmful effect when you heat up these products to a temperature that a typical e-cigarette is using,” said the expert.
E-cigarette firms don’t have to file all of the substances on their product labels. Instead, the FDA is just requiring the information about the degrees of the “harmful or potentially harmful components” found in these products.