JUUL vapes, particularly tobacco- and menthol-flavored e-liquids — products that weren’t included in the federal ban on flavored vape products — may be contaminated with microbial toxins, according to research published in an online supplement of the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.
The research is an expansion of previous studies conducted by Mi-Sun Lee, PhD, MPH, research associate at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, and David Christiani, MD, MPH, Elkan Blout Professor of Environmental Genetics in the department of environmental health at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.
For the study, researchers collected samples from JUUL single-use nicotine-containing pods of various flavors (tobacco, menthol, fruit) and tested them for the presence of endotoxins and glucan. Endotoxins are toxins present inside a bacterial cell that are released when the cell disintegrates and can cause disease. Beta glucan is a type of fiber found in the cells of certain types of yeast, algae, bacteria and fungi.
Researchers found that levels of endotoxins were too low to be detected, but glucan concentrations were noticeably higher, especially in the tobacco- and menthol-flavored pods.
Earlier this year, the federal government banned all flavored vapes — except for tobacco- and menthol-flavored pods — to help curb the growing trend of teen vaping, which was fueled by companies like JUUL through targeted and aggressive marketing campaigns.
“We are particularly concerned because tobacco-flavored JUUL products were excluded from the proposed FDA ban,” Lee said in a news release. “Finding these toxins in nicotine vaping pods adds to the growing evidence of potentially harmful exposures in e-cigarettes.”
Beasley Allen lawyers Joseph VanZandt and Sydney Everett, together with Mass Torts Section Head Andy Birchfield, are currently representing several individuals who are suing the top U.S. vape maker JUUL for the negative impact its products have had on their lives. Recognizing the critical threat to young people ensnared by nicotine addiction, and its effect on our nation’s educational system, our firm has also joined other nationally recognized law firms to represent school districts and public entities across the country in the fight to stop the school vaping crisis.