E-cigarettes contain cancer causing chemicals, recent research

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Teenagers who use electronic cigarettes are exposed to cancer-causing chemicals found in tobacco even when the e-cigarettes don't contain nicotine, according to a new study. But on top of that, there hasn't been a ton of research done on how damaging they can be to kids with or without nicotine - until now. "In contrast, youth who have already begun cigarette experimentation represent a population at high risk of progression to greater levels of cigarette use later in adolescence and into adulthood", Benjamin W. Chaffee, DDS, MPH, PhD, from the Center for Tobacco Control Research and Education and the department of preventive and restorative dental sciences at the University of California, San Francisco, and colleagues wrote.

"Have the conversation around what is this, sit down and really look at what it does have in it", Hans said. "Absent Food and Drug Administration regulation, there is no way for the public health and medical community or consumers to know what chemicals are contained in e-cigarettes or what the short- and long-term health implications might be".

Rubinstein noted that some of the toxic chemicals were found in the bodies of teens who used flavored e-cigarettes without nicotine.

In conclusion, the e-cigarettes present the same carcinogenic chemicals as the regular cigarettes, therefore they are not at all a safer or healthier alternative to classic smoking.

Test analysing the teens' pee and spit samples revealed traces of several chemicals linked to cancer, including acrylamide - found in chips and burned toast past year.

Some of the potentially cancer-causing compounds found in those who used e-cigarettes were acrylonitrile, acrolein, propylene oxide, acrylamide and crotonaldehyde.

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E-cigarettes contain additives and solvents, which can form carcinogenic compounds when heated, according to the study.

"Acrylonitrile is a highly poisonous compound used widely in the manufacture of plastics, adhesives and synthetic rubber", the National Center for Biotechnology Information says on its website. Those who used both types of cigarettes showed levels of toxic compounds three times higher than those who only used e-cigarettes, who in turn showed levels of toxic compounds three times higher than the non-smokers.

The relatively small study tested 67 teenagers who reported vaping, compared to 16 teens who both vape and smoke traditional tobacco cigarettes. The latest report on teen smoking shows 20 percent of high school students have used at least one tobacco product recently - mostly e-cigarettes. And those who used only e-cigarettes had much higher levels than those who used neither product.

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

Last week, a study of almost 70,000 people found that daily e-cigarette use can double the risk for heart attack.

The same CDC report found that only 2.2 percent of middle-schoolers and eight percent of high-schoolers had smoked traditional cigarettes in the past 30 days.