E-fags have ‘more car­cino­gens’

The Star Early Edition - - HEALTH -

TOKYO: E-cig­a­rettes con­tain up to 10 times the amount of can­cer-caus­ing agents as reg­u­lar to­bacco, Ja­panese sci­en­tists say, in the lat­est blow to an in­ven­tion once her­alded as less harm­ful than smoking.

A team of re­searchers com­mis­sioned by Ja­pan’s Health Min­istry stud­ied the vapour pro­duced by e-cig­a­rettes for signs of car­cino­gens, a me­dia re­port said yes­ter­day.

The elec­tronic de­vices – in­creas­ingly popular around the world, par­tic­u­larly among young peo­ple – func­tion by heat­ing flavoured liq­uid, which of­ten con­tains nico­tine, which be­comes a vapour that is in­haled, much like tra­di­tional cig­a­rettes, but with­out the smoke.

Re­searchers found car­cino­gens such as formalde­hyde and ac­etalde­hyde in vapour pro­duced by sev­eral types of e-cig­a­rette liq­uid, TBS tele­vi­sion re­ported.

Formalde­hyde – a sub­stance found in build­ing ma­te­ri­als and em­balm­ing flu­ids – was present at lev­els 10 times higher than those found in the smoke from reg­u­lar cig­a­rettes.

Re­searcher Naoki Kunugita and his team at the Na­tional In­sti­tute of Pub­lic Health sub­mit­ted their re­port to the min­istry yes­ter­day. Nei­ther Kunugita nor any­one from the min­istry was avail­able to con­firm the re­port.

In common with many ju­ris­dic­tions, Ja­pan does not reg­u­late e-cig­a­rettes, which can be bought eas­ily on the in­ter­net. Un­like in some Western coun­tries, they are not read­ily avail­able in shops.

In Au­gust, the World Health Or­ga­ni­za­tion called on gov­ern­ments to ban the sale of e-cig­a­rettes to mi­nors, say­ing they posed a “se­ri­ous threat” to un­born ba­bies and chil­dren.

The UN health body also said they should be banned from in­door pub­lic spa­ces. – Sapa-AFP


CAN­CER STICK: Elec­tronic cig­a­rettes con­tain formalde­hyde and ac­etalde­hyde.

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