March 17, 2018

Nicotine-free e-cigarettes raise cancer risk for teens, study warns

08 March 2018, 01:35 | Rodolfo Wallace

Vaping Delivers Cancerous Chemicals, New Study of Teens Shows

E-Cigarette Use Exposes Teens to Toxic Chemicals

E-cigarettes contain cancer-causing chemicals similar to those found in traditional cigarettes, according to new research exploring the unknown dangers of electronic nicotine delivery systems, especially as their use becomes more widespread among teenagers.

As the popularity of e-cigarettes continues to grow, a new warning comes from researchers: Teenagers who try vaping are ingesting numerous same chemicals that make traditional cigarettes so deadly.

Study participants who used both e-cigarettes and traditional cigarettes had significantly higher levels of unsafe chemicals, including acrylonitrile, acrolein, propylene oxide, acrylamide and crotonaldehyde, the researchers said. Mark Rubinstein University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) and his colleagues analyzed urine samples from a group of children under the age of 16.

'E-cigarettes have the potential to addict the next generation, ' he said.

The group that used both e-cigarettes and traditional cigarettes had levels that were six times higher.

The National Cancer Institute said studies in rodent models have found that acrylamide exposure increases the risk for several types of cancer. "But when they're heated to the high temperatures required for vaporization, they can produce toxic substances that are potentially carcinogenic", he said. He agrees that teens should not have access to e-cigarettes, but overall, he says the benefits outweigh the risks.

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In 2016, more than two million United States middle and high school students used e-cigarettes in the past 30 days, including 4.3 percent of middle school students and 11.3 percent of high school students, compared with 3.2 percent of United States adults.

More than half of the e-cigarette participants indicated using fruit- or candy-flavored products, which left significant amounts of the compound acrylonitrile, which is used widely in the manufacturing of plastics, adhesives and synthetic rubber.

Among the compounds researchers have found acrolein, Acrylonitrile, CROTONALDEHYDE, propylene oxide and acrylamide, which belong to the class of chemicals called volatile organic compounds (VOCS).

Dr Rubinstein said: 'I do not think teens are aware of the risks.

Even though e-cigarettes producers advertise their products as safe and even suggest smokers to quit smoking regular cigarettes and to start using e-cigs, recent studies on e-cigarettes revealed that they can be as nocive as regular cigarettes.

"Although smoking even one cigarette is concerning, becoming an established smoker in adolescence is of substantial clinical and public health concern and is strongly associated with continuing to smoke regularly", researchers wrote.

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