Tuesday, February 18, 2014

The Dangers Of Citric Acidity & Inhalers

Citric acid is commonly found in citrus fruits like lemons.

Citric acid is a naturally occurring chemical found in in various types of fruit. It is commonly used as a food additive but has other non-food uses as well. One of these uses is as an aid to stop smoking. A mist including citric acid has been used as an inhaler in clinical trials to aid people in quitting smoking.


In clinical trials from the Duke University School of Psychiatry in 1993, it was found that an inhaler containing citric acid did help smokers crave cigarettes less. However, once the trial was over and the smokers no longer had access to the inhalers, there was a danger of returning to smoking. The effects were found to be temporary, meaning that in order to keep from smoking, patients may need to use the inhaler for prolonged periods of time. This could lead to a dependency on the inhalers, essentially substituting one addiction for another.

Throat Irritation

In the clinical trials, the smokers reported that they missed the sensory results of smoking as much as the physical addiction to nicotine. Some inhalers were then made to reproduce the tingle of smoke on the throat as it is being inhaled. The problem is that too much of this tingle can cause irritation or slight coughs. The more coughing there is, the worse the cough has the potential to get. The tingle could turn into irritation over time.

Lung Irritation

Any time particles are introduced into the lungs, the risk of some of those particles irritating the lungs is present. If citric acid particles irritate the lungs, it could cause coughing. The particles could also exacerbate a pre-existing condition. For example, if the person already has a respiratory infection or a cold, the particles could make the coughing the person is already experiencing worse. Prolonged coughing affects the lungs and the throat and could require medical attention.

Allergic Reactions or Intolerance

All drugs come with risks, including reactions. People using a smoking cessation aid containing citric acid may not realize they are allergic. People with this allergy may experience nausea, vomiting, hives, blurred vision, rashes and headaches. An intolerance to citric acid will produce the same effects, but at a slower rate. This is dangerous because you may take several doses of the inhaler before showing signs of intolerance, which will only make the symptoms worse. Always consult a doctor if you experience any kind of reaction.

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