Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Health regulator finds 30 undisclosed substances in ESD aerosols

An analysis by health regulator Cofepris has detected 30 undisclosed substances in aerosols inhaled via electronic smoking devices (ESDs) commonly known as vapes and e-cigarettes.   

Linalool, which can be used as an insecticide, was one of the substances detected. Cofepris chief Alejandro Svarch appeared at President López Obrador’s morning press conference on Tuesday to present the preliminary results of the analysis. He said that Cofepris scientists developed their own methodology to analyze the aerosols in ESDs – whose sale was banned in Mexico in June – because no one else has come up with one. 

Final results of the analysis will be published in scientific journals in the coming months, Svarch said, adding that the pioneering methodology developed in Mexico will be of interest to health authorities in other countries.  

He said that the Cofepris analysis detected a total of 33 substances in the vapors of ESDs but only three (in addition to nicotine) appear on the labeling of the devices – glycerol, propylene glycol and natural or artificial flavorings.  

Mexico's health regulator chief Alejandro Svarch
Svarch told President Lopez Obrador’s daily press conference that the agency had to invent its own method of testing the aerosols of e-cigarettes because tests don’t exist. Daniel Augusto Sánchez Moreno/Cuartoscuro

“This in itself is an enormous deception of consumers, who trust that the product is less harmful than a conventional cigarette, because it [supposedly] only has flavorings and nicotine, when in fact, it has other kinds of substances or ingredients that are highly dangerous for humans,” Svarch said. 

Among the “hidden” ingredients that “producers of vaping devices don’t want us to know about,” he said, are dimethyl ether, benzyl alcohol, ethyl propionate, isoamyl acetate, butyl acetate and methyl cinnamate. 

“We found linalool, for example, which is used to kill flies and cockroaches,” Svarch said. “With this work and other scientific research about the risks associated with vaping, we can now say there is nothing that the vaping industry can hide with respect to these products — which are not only deceitful but also [pose] an enormous risk to human health.” Linalool is a naturally-occuring compound that is also commonly used as a food additive and in products such as soaps and cosmetics. 

Svarch also presented a song commissioned by Cofepris that warns of the risks of vaping and advises ESD users to “give up now.” 


A video commissioned by Cofepris to publicize the dangers of vaping. Click to hear the anti-vaping song written for the video, which starts at 1:40.

Among the cautionary tales offered via the song’s lyrics are the cases of a woman who lost three teeth due to vaping and a handsome man who became known as “burnt face” because his beloved vape exploded while he was using it.

Mexico News Daily 

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