They found they damage cells lining the heart and blood vessels, leading to cardiovascular disease, strokes and heart attacks.
Tests in the US showed additives in nine flavours — menthol, vanilla, cinnamon, clove, strawberry, banana, burnt, butter and spicy cooling — slowed blood flow and increased inflammation.
Inhaled at typical levels, all slowed the production of nitric oxide, a protective molecule.
At the same time endothelial lining cells in the blood vessels and heart ended up as “toxic” as in tobacco smokers.
The tests were carried out on human cells in petri dishes.
All flavours caused cell death when used at high levels.
But cinnamon, clove, strawberry, banana and spicy cooling also did so at low levels — with strawberry being particularly lethal.
Boston University’s Dr Jessica Fetterman said further tests were needed to mimic the heat applied in real-life vaping.
She also said they need to learn how much of the flavourings make it into the human body.
Dr Fetterman added: “Flavourings were toxic to blood vessels and have adverse effects that may have relevance to cardiovascular toxicity similar to cigarettes.”
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