E-cig­a­rettes aren’t a safe al­ter­na­tive

Warwick Daily News - - HEALTHY LIVING -

TOXIC chem­i­cals in e-cig­a­rettes dam­age DNA in the mouth and may in­crease the risk of can­cer, a study sug­gests.

Re­searchers looked for can­cer-caus­ing sub­stances in saliva taken from five vapers be­fore and af­ter a 15-minute ses­sion.

They also as­sessed DNA dam­age in the cells of the vol­un­teers’ mouths.

They iden­ti­fied three DNA­dam­ag­ing com­pounds – formalde­hyde, acrolein and methyl­gly­oxal – whose lev­els in­creased af­ter va­p­ing. Four of the five e-cig­a­rette users showed greater DNA dam­age re­lated to acrolein ex­po­sure.

Can­cer can de­velop if the cells do not re­pair the dam­age, boffins from the Univer­sity of Min­nesota warn.

Dr Sil­via Balbo, who led the lat­est study, said: “It’s clear that more car­cino­gens arise from the com­bus­tion of to­bacco in reg­u­lar cig­a­rettes than from the vapour of e-cig­a­rettes.

“How­ever we don’t re­ally know the im­pact of in­hal­ing the com­bi­na­tion of com­pounds pro­duced by this de­vice.

“Just be­cause the threats are dif­fer­ent doesn’t mean that eci­garettes are com­pletely safe.

“We still don’t know ex­actly what th­ese e-cig de­vices are do­ing and what kinds of ef­fects they may have on health but our find­ings sug­gest that a closer look is war­ranted.”

Dr Romel Da­tor, who also worked on the study, said: “Eci­garettes are a pop­u­lar trend but the long-term health ef­fects are un­known.

“We want to char­ac­terise the chem­i­cals that vapers are ex­posed to, as well as any DNA dam­age they may cause.”

Photo: iStock

HEALTH RISK: E-cig­a­rettes can dam­age DNA in the mouth, a new study sug­gests.

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