The flavor of an e-cigarette may affect more than a consumer’s taste buds, according to Penn State researchers who say the chemicals that make up different flavors also produce different levels of free radicals, toxins often associated with cancer and other diseases.

The researchers analyzed popular e-cigarette flavors and the amount of free radicals they produced and found that many of the chemicals used to flavor e-cigarettes increased the production of free radicals, while a few actually lowered it.

John Richie, professor of public health sciences and pharmacology, Penn State College of Medicine, said the results are an important step in learning more about the potential dangers of e-cigarettes.

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