HONOLULU (KHON2) — New research from a team at the University of Hawaii at Manoa found that menthol in e-cigarettes may be harmful to your respiratory health.

UH Manoa Professor Yi Zuo and adjunct professor of pediatrics recently discovered a new method of study to see the effects e-cigarette aerosols have on our health.

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This discovery was found in June of 2022 in the American Journal of Physiology—Lung Cellular and Molecular Physiology, “Menthol in Electronic Cigarettes Causes Biophysical Inhibition of Pulmonary Surfactant.”

Zuo found that menthol and other flavors in vapes impaired a lipid-protein film at the air-water surface of the lung.

Lung surfactant is there to control the normal respiratory mechanics of the lung and menthol vapes can cause poor side effects, explained Zuo.

“E-cigarettes were initially advertised as a healthier and safer alternative to conventional tobacco smoking when they first appeared in the mid-2000s,” Zuo said. “However, increasing research evidence, especially long-term (more than 10 years) toxicological data that emerged only in recent years, has suggested that e-cigarettes are not as safe as originally promised.”

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Zuo hopes that this research can help the younger generation see the impacts of e-cigarettes and regulate the products better.