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31 January 2018, 07:31 | Leigh Flowers
E-cigarettes could raise risk of cancer and heart disease, warn scientists
"I never expected the DNA damage from e-cigarettes to be equal to tobacco cigarettes", Kadimisetty said.
It's certainly concerning, and certainly gives pause if one were to say e-cigarettes were safe and could be used by all people without consequences.
For another part of the experiment, the scientists exposed cultured human cells to large quantities of nicotine in a lab and found similar effects on DNA damage and fix.
"We know from talking to teachers that in schools where smoking rates are high in the local community, cigarettes are sold to younger children by teen smokers in order to maintain their own smoking". However, the results of this study may take several years to determine.
There was also conclusive evidence that e-cigarettes can explode and cause burns and projectile injuries.
Because of this and other factors, some researchers have dismissed the findings. Professor Peter Hajek, director of the Tobacco Dependence Research Unit at Queen Mary University of London, believes that these results add nothing new to the debate on e-cigs and health. On the one hand, there are doctors and advocates who insist that vaping is a relatively safe, appealing way for smokers to wean themselves off much more risky tobacco products.
About 18 million American use e-cigarettes, which are battery-powered devices that heat a nicotine containing liquid. Another experiment found the exact same pattern in human lung and bladder cells exposed to nicotine and a chemical it gets broken down into, nicotine-derived nitrosamine ketone.
Recent studies have shown that e-cig users have 97 per cent less of a lung cancer-causing component known as NNAL in their bodies than tobacco smokers.
This is avoided in e-cigarettes, with nicotine delivered through aerosols without burning tobacco.
This breakthrough follows on from a report published a week earlier (23 January), in which it was suggested that e-cigarettes can help adults to quit smoking conventional cigarettes. Most study participants said they had completely switched from smoking to vaping. Research like this is important, but this lab study only looked at the effects of e-cigarette smoke on cells and on mice, which means it's not possible to draw any conclusions from this about how e-cigarettes might affect people in real life. They found remarkable differences in levels of potentially toxic chemicals among e-cigarette users and smokers.
"Up to two-thirds of long term smokers will die due to their addiction, but e-cigarettes don't contain tobacco".
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