According to research published in Respiratory Research today, mint flavoring e-cigarette liquids results in more vapor particles and is linked to lower lung function in smokers.

Researchers demonstrated that commercially available menthol-containing e-cigarette liquids produce more harmful microparticles than menthol-free juice using a specially constructed robotic system that simulates the mechanics of human breathing and vaping behavior. Regardless of age, gender, race, number of pack-years smoked, use of nicotine or cannabis-containing vaping products, or patient records analysis from a cohort of e-cigarette smokers, menthol vapers took shallower breaths and had worse lung function than non-menthol smokers.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration continues to put pressure on cigarette producers to remove menthol from combustible tobacco products, such as normal cigarettes and cigars, in an effort to discourage young people from vaping and reduce avoidable fatalities. But the vaping industry is still growing, and of the 2.5 million young people who reported using e-cigarettes in 2022, mint and menthol flavors are still very popular.

Regulatory organizations struggle to keep up and assess the safety of products on time because conventional toxicity testing, which uses animals or living cells grown on a flat surface, can take weeks or months to yield high-quality and clinically relevant data.

There are additional drawbacks to conventional methods. Animals primarily utilized to evaluate aerosolized items are mice and rats.