E-cigarettes may harm DNA and cause cancer

A leading tobacco company, Philip Morris, had recently wanted to market a new e-cigarette device, IQOS, as a healthier option but the Food and Drug Administration rejected that idea a few days ago. A study past year looked at the effects of e-cigarettes in what they defined as "long-term users" (around 17 months).

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 don't know which one is more harmful", he said. "The results may take years to come in because cancer is such a slow process", he told The Guardian.

VAPERS have a higher risk of cancer and heart disease compared to non-smokers, tests on mice found.

Because of this and other factors, some researchers have dismissed the findings.

Peter Hajek, director of the Tobacco Dependence Research Unit at Queen Mary University of London, said the study methods are of "unclear relevance for effects of vaping". 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. Meanwhile cultured human cells reacted in a similar manner when exposed to nicotine and its derivatives.

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They also pointed out that cardiovascular disease, not cancer, is the greatest risk of premature death for a smoker, causing nearly half of premature deaths (48%) among smokers. They are often deemed the "safe" alternative to cigarettes and recent analysis has also shown that people who vape contain 97% less of the lung carcinogen NNAL in their lungs than regular smokers.

'In terms of safety, e-cigarettes are likely far closer to nicotine replacement therapy (NRT).

Laboratory mice were exposed to e-cigarette vapour, which contains both nicotine and liquid solvents, at the normal level it would be consumed by a human user.

Last week a major United States report into the health effects of e-cigarettes found that vaping might be useful to help people quit smoking. The findings of the study by itself are neither conclusive.

In 2016, the FDA finalized a rule extending its regulatory authority to all tobacco products, including e-cigarettes, cigars, as well as hookah and pipe tobacco, as part of its goal to improve public health. But the evidence is pointing towards them being far less harmful than tobacco.

While tobacco smoke contains a host of potentially risky chemicals, e-cig liquid consists only of nicotine and relatively harmless solvents.


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