'Vitamin cigarettes' are trendy, but are they safe?

Updated 2017-12-13 09:04:19 CGTN/Agencies

According to the World Health Organization, smoking is one of the leading causes of lung cancer and it kills about six million people each year.

Inhale Health, a biotech company in Beverley Hills, is trying to turn people's bad habit of smoking cigarettes and E-cigarettes into a positive one with a range of inhalable vitamins.

The company claims on their website that their products – vitamin inhalers – are made of liquid-formed pharmaceutical grade vitamins, which turn into nutrient-rich vapor when consumed.

There are three types of inhalers in the company's supplements. Labeled "energy", the yellow inhaler contains vitamin B12, organic caffeine, and L-theanine; the red "vitamin" inhaler consists of vitamin B1, B2, B6, and B12; the black "sleep" inhaler contains melatonin USP.

The company's CEO, Daniel Wolf Shapiro, said monthly sales are growing and that it's difficult to keep up with the demand for "healthy cigarettes", for both retail stores and online shopping, but concerns have been raised regarding whether inhaling vitamins is safe for the human body.

Experts said that various ways of consuming vitamins – inhaling, injecting, and orally consuming pills – impact the body in different ways.

Phil Battiade, founder and executive director of Infusio, a wellness vitamin and stem cell infusion clinic that operates in Beverly Hills and Frankfurt, Germany, claimed that people get faster uptakes when "smoking" vitamins.

"You get a very fast peak through inhaling, but then the body would eat that so you might get a feel-good sudden high, " Battiade told AP.

"But then the body is going to try to counteract that again so elimination is going to start, whereas, if we inject you get a depo and it stays in the muscle basically and is just slowly released so you don't get that sudden spike. You get a very slow kind of release into the body,"

Lung specialist Dr. Steven M. Taback said that it is not known yet if inhalable vitamins are harmful or not for lungs.

"It's very unnatural actually to be done via the lungs. Vitamins are meant to really be ingested. I don't see a reason why one would want to vape that." Taback told AP.

"Whether or not there is any benefit, I haven't seen any controlled studies to say whether there is a benefit or whether there is a risk, but medicine is a good part science, but also a good part of common sense."

Inhalable vitamins do not require approval from the US Food and Drug Administration for now. They are not considered to be supplements because they aren't swallowed and they are not regarded as a drug, AP reported.

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