Boom In E-Cigarettes Sparks Calls For Regulation

From: Chemical & Engineering News

As more and more people try out vaping, researchers race to weigh health risks and benefits

By Britt E. Erickson

Inside a basement shop in Washington, D.C., on a bustling street filled with restaurants and nightclubs, a hazy cloud with the sweet scent of cotton candy and vanilla custard lingers in the air. Two men are sitting at a tasting bar smoking the latest flavors of “e-juice,” while the shop manager “vapes” on his electronic cigarette, or “box mod” device, behind the counter.

The back wall is lined with hundreds of 10–15-mL eyedropper bottles, each with a colorful, eye-catching label announcing an enticing flavor. Melon head, razzletaz, serious kiwi, Swedish fish, gummy bear, taste the rainbow—the list goes on. The vials contain e-juice, a liquid concoction of varying amounts of nicotine, propylene glycol, glycerin, and food-grade flavorings. The juice is heated inside battery-operated, refillable devices that come in myriad sizes, colors, shapes, and styles. Nicotine in the e-juice, as well as any flavors, is aerosolized and inhaled by the user.

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