Cigarettes May Lead To Cancer And Heart Disease, New Study Finds

31 January, 2018, 07:30 | Author: Lorraine Moran
  • Vaping and e-cigarettes have gained considerable popularity as a less harmful alternative to traditional cigarettes

Further studies are needed to substantiate this proposal, write the researchers from New York University School of Medicine, but their work suggests that e-cigarettes could put users at risk of cancer - at least compared with non-smokers.

For another part of the experiment, the scientists exposed cultured human cells to large quantities of nicotine in a lab and found similar effects on DNA damage and fix. "The results may take years to come in because cancer is such a slow process", he told The Guardian. Vaping May help adults quit smoking but may entice young people to smoke conventional tobacco.

The main cancer risk with tobacco cigarettes is caused by the release of a number of carcinogenic compounds when they are burned and inhaled.

"This study shows nothing at all about the dangers of vaping", Peter Hajek, director of the Tobacco Dependence Research Unit at Queen Mary University of London told the Guardian. "The best current estimate is that vaping poses, at worst, some 5% of risks of smoking".

The battery-driven devices, which deliver an instant nicotine "hit" without burning tobacco, have been widely promoted as a safer alternative to cigarettes.

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Recent studies have shown that e-cigarette smokers have 97% less of a lung carcinogen known as NNAL in their bodies than tobacco smokers.

'In terms of safety, e-cigarettes are likely far closer to nicotine replacement therapy (NRT). Nicotine with e-cigarette solvent caused the same damage as nicotine alone, said lead researcher Moon-shong Tang, a professor of environmental medicine. It also retarded DNA fix functions and proteins in the lungs. Details of the study are reported in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Meanwhile cultured human cells reacted in a similar manner when exposed to nicotine and its derivatives. Research like this is important, but this lab study only looked at the effects of e-cigarette smoke on cells and on mice, which means it's not possible to draw any conclusions from this about how e-cigarettes might affect people in real life. "I never expected the DNA damage from e-cigarettes to be equal to tobacco cigarettes", Kadimisetty said.

Last week a major United States report into the health effects of e-cigarettes found that vaping might be useful to help people quit smoking.

It's the first evidence we have that nicotine can be carcinogenic in and of itself, said Dr Roy Herbst, chief of medical oncology at Yale Cancer Centre, and chair of the American Association for Cancer Research's Tobacco and Cancer sub-committee.

While tobacco smoke contains a host of unsafe chemicals, e-cig liquid consists only of nicotine and relatively harmless solvents.

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