04 January 2016

E-Cigarettes Cause Cancer

Electronic cigarettes are often marketed as a 'safe' way for people to stop smoking - but there could be hidden risks, a new study suggests.

Researchers at the Veterans Affairs San Diego Healthcare System found that e-cigarettes damaged cells in ways which could lead to cancer.

The researchers wrote, "Our study strongly suggests that electronic cigarettes are not as safe as their marketing makes them appear to the public."

Current Public Health England advice is that while the products are not entirely safe, they are 95% safer than smoking - and can be used as a ‘low-cost, effective intervention’ to help smokers quit.

The researchers extracted the chemicals from e-cigarettes, and used them on human cells in a Petri dish.

Cells treated with the chemicals were more likely to show DNA damage and die.

There haven't been many good lab studies on the effects of these products on actual human cells,’ says Dr. Jessica Wang-Rodriquez of the University of California, San Diego,

"There have been many studies showing that nicotine can damage cells. But we found that other variables can do damage as well. It’s not that the nicotine is completely innocent in the mix, but it looks like the amount of nicotine that the cells are exposed to by e-cigarettes is not sufficient by itself to cause these changes.

"There must be other components in the e-cigarettes that are doing this damage. So we may be identifying other carcinogenic components that are previously undescribed."