Published: Thu, February 01, 2018
Medical | By

Nicotine In E-Cigarette Vapors May Cause Cancer, Mouse Study Suggests

Nicotine In E-Cigarette Vapors May Cause Cancer, Mouse Study Suggests

As the authors admit, though, tobacco smoke is chock full of other nasty chemicals that can cause cancer along with other health problems, such as emphysema.

Studies have suggested that e-cigarette smoking, also known as "vaping", can help tobacco smokers quit smoking and there is evidence that vaping is less harmful than tobacco smoking. Researchers from the New York University School of Medicine found that vaping is unsafe and hence should not be promoted as safe, despite being less harmful than smoking.

E-cigarette smoke delivers nicotine through aerosols without burning tobacco. They also exposed mice to the nicotine and the solvents separately. "But the trend was still there - something in the e-cigarettes was definitely causing damage to the DNA".

As part of their tests, mice were exposed to e-cigarette smoke (ECS) for three months at a dose and duration equivalent to light e-cigarette smoking for 10 years in humans.The exposure led to DNA damage in the animals' lungs, bladders and hearts.

The lung and bladder cells that were exposed to nicotine turned into tumor tissue more easily.


The paper, written by scientists at New York University, claims that nicotine inhaled from an e-cigarette could result in DNA damage as it is converted into chemicals which are harmful to the heart, lungs, bladder and DNA fix functions. E-cigarettes are marketed as a safer alternative to smoking tobacco. This produced similar DNA damage and DNA fix reduction. The findings of the study by itself are neither conclusive.

One scientist not involved with the research pointed to what he considered a shortcoming in the study.

The research found that vaping does include fewer cancer causing chemicals than normal smoking but vapers could be at greater risk of lung and bladder cancers and heart diseases. "I never expected the DNA damage from e-cigarettes to be equal to tobacco cigarettes", Kadimisetty said.

"E-cigarettes cannot simply be considered beneficial or harmful", said David Eaton, Dean of the University of Washington in Seattle and chair of the editorial board for the report commissioned by Congress in 2016. A study published in Tobacco Regulatory Science, that examined tobacco cigarettes, found that a startling 75% of young smokers would not smoke if cigarettes were unflavored.

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