Vitamin-infused, watermelon-flavoured 'Vape Babe' draws backlash

A vitamin-infused vaping product has drawn backlash after being promoted as a health product, with professionals saying there's "no evidence" there are any sort of health benefits. 

Watermelon-flavoured 'Vape Babe Balance', has been released in New Zealand, and retails on a New Zealand supplements website for $24.95. 

The product description describes it as "a nicotine and caffeine free vape containing vitamin B12 and B6, which helps with natural energy production, mood and fatigue."

"Vitamin B6 helps with hormones imbalances, PMS, brain function and nausea. Rose flower is a natural stress buster which aids in digestion and weight loss," the site claims. "Chaste tree berry can help with mood swings and period-related irritability. Lemon balm can help with calming and relaxing."

While the product description makes no promises, it says it may help support energy, fatigue, mood, stress and hormones. 

Several commenters showed concern that the product was designed to encourage non-smokers to start vaping by disguising it as healthy. 

On a promotional post on the NZ Muscle Instagram, one commenter wrote, "What the hell... vapes are meant to help quit smoking. They can affect a person badly if they’ve never vaped before."

"Why the hell are you promoting vaping? You’d think being a health and fitness brand that you’d be against anything that can negatively affect your lungs?" wrote another. 

"Wtf would love to see the science behind 'inhalable vitamins'. Most ridiculous thing to come out of the fitness industry yet," wrote another. 

However, one Vape store owner said it was "an interesting concept". 

"I'd be interested to know how it goes, what a cool idea." 

When approached for comment, a spokesperson for NZ Muscle says they've received an "overwhelming amount of feedback," on the product, "both positive and negative". 

"The fitness and supplement industry is forever adapting and everyday there is a countless number of new products entering the market," the company told Newshub. 

"The decision to sell this product included providing a better alternative to traditional vapes. We have staff that use vapes with nicotine, that have considered this as an alternative. 

"We understand that this product is not for everyone."

Humberto Choi, MD, a pulmonologist with the Cleveland Clinic told Cosmopolitan there's no evidence to confirm that inhaling vitamins through vaping has any benefit. 

"These devices emit tiny chemical particles that are deposited into the far reaches of the lungs, which causes inflammation,” says Dr Choi. 

"We have a beautifully designed gastrointestinal tract that’s made to absorb nutrients."

Another expert called it a "marketing ploy". 

"Consumers associate vitamins with health,” Dr Regan Bailey, a nutritional epidemiologist at Purdue University told Scientific American.

"These products might be completely safe, but they might not be. We know literally nothing about the safety or efficacy of inhaling vitamins."