Vaping Could Increase Risk Of Cancer, But It's Still Hazy

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Experts at the New York University carried out the research which involved exposing a human and mice bladder and lung cells to e-cig smoke and watching what damage it caused.

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. 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 unsafe tobacco products. The chemists wrote that the damage caused by vaping increased as a person took more puffs of an e-cigarette. 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.

For people who use vaping to wean themselves off smoking, that uncertainty might be a perfectly fine thing to live with - a smaller cancer risk is still better than nothing.

The battery-driven devices, which deliver an instant nicotine "hit" without burning tobacco, have been widely promoted as a safer alternative to cigarettes.

Tobacco smoke contains thousands of chemicals and at least 70 are known either to cause or drive cancer in the body. A typical e-cigarette is filled with a variety of chemicals, including propylene glycol, glycerine, nicotine, and flavorings such as menthol.

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They found that in comparison to filtered air, e-cigarette vapour damages DNA and also prevents the genetic code from repairing itself. Details of the study are reported in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Their organs were likewise less able to fix DNA.

Similar results were seen when cultured human lung and bladder cells were exposed to nicotine and nicotine derivatives.

Last week a major USA report into the health effects of e-cigarettes found that vaping might be useful to help people quit smoking.

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. "It also leads to addiction to nicotine, which then leads them to try and experiment with other tobacco products - smoking included". "I never expected the DNA damage from e-cigarettes to be equal to tobacco cigarettes", Kadimisetty said.

FDA clearance would mark a major milestone in efforts by both the industry and government officials to provide alternative tobacco products to U.S. smokers.

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