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Vaping Causes Cancer, Says New Research
01 February 2018, 12:52 | Violet Powell
E-cigarettes could raise risk of cancer and heart disease, warn scientists
The researchers say that more work is needed to see whether vaping really does increase cancer rates.
FLICKR, VAPING 360Nicotine inhaled from e-cigarettes can damage DNA in mouse heart, lung, and bladder and in cultured human lung and bladder cells, a new study shows.
Moon-shong Tang and colleagues found that mice exposed to ECS had higher levels of DNA damage in the heart, lungs, and bladder, compared with control mice exposed to filtered air.
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. "The results may take years to come in because cancer is such a slow process", he told The Guardian.
"This study shows nothing at all about the dangers of vaping", said Peter Hajek, director of the Tobacco Dependence Research Unit at Queen Mary University of London.
Therefore, "at this stage, it is not known whether e-cigarettes has a positive or negative impact on public 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. They also exposed the mice to nicotine and solvents separately. The findings also support bids to regulate e-cigarettes based on their tobacco-like effects, such as the FDA's former approach. Nicotine inhaled from e-cigarettes could be converted into chemicals that damage DNA in the heart, lungs and bladder, according to the study. DNA-repair activity and the fix proteins XPC and OGG1/2 were reduced in the lung tissue of mice.
However, not all animal research produces similar results in humans. A study in mice, published today in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, is sure to provide fodder for both sides. "We need to actively address these misperceptions about the risks of e-cigarettes, which can have real-world consequences for public health", Kaleechurn said. The study found that the majority of participants started vaping in order to quit cigarettes.
But, according to them, the electronic cigarette nonetheless would be less harmful than the conventional cigarette and could help smokers stop.
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