E-cigarettes aren’t a safe alternative
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.”
HEALTH RISK: E-cigarettes can damage DNA in the mouth, a new study suggests.