NEW HAVEN, CT (WFSB) - Connecticut's senior senator joined researchers from Yale University to highlight chemicals they said can cause respiratory problems.
Sen. Richard Blumenthal and leading researchers from the Yale School of Medicine said held a news conference at the school's Department of Psychiatry in New Haven Monday morning.
The researchers said they built a "vaping machine" to analyze the chemical makeup of various flavors of the Juul refill cartridges.
They said young people across the country have been hospitalized from using vaping products, including 11 suspected cases in Connecticut.
The center is now on its second 5-year grant, funded by the National Institute of Health. They are looking in to e-cigarettes, from the chemical reactions taking place, to the different types of flavors.
"What is most popular with kids, it tend to be fruity, sweet. We've looked in our past lab, five-year grant that we had at menthol, green apple. This is looking at sweets, so they choose between strawberry or vanilla," said Dr. Barry Green, Yale Tobacco Center of Regulatory Science.
According to the Food and Drug Administration, there are roughly 3.7 million youth e-cigarette users and that number continues to climb.
Last week, officials in Connecticut called for a ban on e-cigarettes following a report of six deaths believed to be linked to vaping.
On Monday, Blumenthal met with the scientists working on the study. He's pushing that flavors be banned along with a bill that would invest $500 million over the next 10 years to address e-cigarette use among teens.
"They should know these products are not harmless, they are not hip and cool, they can be severely damaging because of these compounds found in them," Blumenthal said.
New York has recently banned flavored e-cigarettes and President Donald Trump has said he wants his administration to look into banning all non-tobacco flavored vaping products.
"We are working very hard to try to understand the problem, understand why these devices, especially e-cigarettes, appeal to youth and what their benefit might be to smokers who are trying to quit smoking," said Dr. Suchrita Krishnan-Sarin.
The scientists said if it gets to the point where flavors are banned, there needs to be sufficient help for those that have been using them to help quit smoking, along with the teens, who are now addicted.