E-cigarette companies have been making unsubstantiated claims that their products provide health benefits like improved sleep, energy and a better immune system. Some are going so far as to call them “vitamin delivery devices” or “weight management aids.” According to the American Journal of Public Health, there is no scientific evidence to substantiate these claims.
VapeFully claims that its products, which contain lavender, have “healing effects” and they advertise that they are intended for all kinds of ailments, such as migraine relief, pain, anxiety, depression, insomnia, relaxation, etc. However, a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine provides evidence contradicting these claims.
There is no evidence to support the claims that inhaled vitamins provide health benefits compared with vitamins that are ingested. These claims only confuse consumers into thinking that these products are healthy when they are not. In fact, there are substances in e-liquids that could be associated with health problems. Diacetyl is a substance in fruit flavored e-liquids and it has been linked to an irreversible lung disease called “bronchiolitis obliterans.” There is also evidence that strawberry-flavored e-liquids are particularly harmful and that inhaling vitamins could cause lung damage.
The table below provides some examples of claims made by E-cigarette marketers between June and October 2018.
|Company Name||Product Advertised||Product Claim||
|VitaCig||Vitamin and essential oil inhalation, aromatherapy devices||“Contain several key vitamins. May be absorbed via the mucous membrane of the oral cavity.”||There is no evidence to support this claim.|
|Vapes||Peach berry e-liquid||“Boost your mood with Vitamin B12 infused into fresh picked Red Top peaches muddled with ever-bearing strawberries. This Vita Vape e-liquid has been reinvented and repurposed to deliver a dose of vitamin B12 instead of nicotine.”||There is no evidence to support this claim.|
|Davinci||Vaporizers||“The aromatherapy herbs we offer are known to have benefits that help treat certain ailments- also they are really good for you. Did you know that Chamomile helps boost the immune system?”||There is no evidence to determine if inhaling chamomile produces the same effects as drinking it.|
|NutroVape||NutroVape Sleep||“A blend of melatonin, l-theanine, natural passionflower, and natural chamomile that helps you sleep like a freaking baby through the whole night—with no morning hangover.”||There is no evidence to support this claim.|
Until the government steps in to either regulate these substances or creates advertising regulations to prevent them from making these unsubstantiated claims, consumers will be left to sort through the smoke and mirrors. Don’t be fooled into believing these claims. A healthy life involves eating well, exercising, having good sleep routines, and a social support system. Those things simply cannot be found in vaping liquid.
Source: Galea, S. V. (2019). E-cigarettes Are Being Marketed as “Vitamin Delivery” Devices. American Journal of Public Health, 194-196.
By Julie Osgood, DrPH, MS
Vice President, Clinic Network, Valley Medical Center