E-Cigarettes Not Safe As A Smoking Alternative, Research Reveals; Toxic Chemicals Found In Vape Harmful To Lungs

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Apr 08, 2017 03:47 PM EDT

With the drive against smoking in full swing, many people have focused their sights on electronic cigarettes or vape as an alternative. However, research has revealed that vaping is not as safe as many people have thought it to be. Evidence shows that vaping can have harmful effects on the lungs.

While considered safer than real cigarettes, e-cigarettes can still be toxic. Mirror reports that the flavorings of vape can cause more stress to the lungs. Conducted at the University of Rochester, the study focused on the harmful effects of vaping on the lungs.

"It seems that every day a new e-cigarette product is launched without knowing the harmful health effects of these products," said Irfan Rahman. The research focused on the impact of vaping on human and mice cells. In both instances, there was inflammation of the lungs. The harmful effects kick in when the elements inside the e-cigarette are activated to heat the juice into an aerosol.

The Guardian reveals that scientists discovered that e-cigarettes have free radical toxins similar to cigarette smoke and air pollution. These substances are highly reactive molecules that can damage DNA and cell membranes. For the researchers, this was a surprising result as e-cigarette vapor does not contain combustion products or tar released by burning tobacco.

However, Tom Pruen, Chief Scientific Officer for Electronic Cigarette Trade Industry Association (ECITA), criticized the way the research was conducted. BBC News reveals that the mice were exposed to vapor dose designed for humans, not mice. Dr. Penny Woods, Chief Executive of the British Lung Foundation, said that the research lacked conclusive evidence on the long-term effect of vaping in humans.

Dr. Woods also revealed that more research should be conducted on e-cigarette use by people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). "With as many as 25,000 people dying of smoking-related COPD in the UK each year, greater certainty is needed over whether e-cigarettes are safe to use by COPD patients looking to quit smoking," Woods said.

Sales of e-cigarettes in the US are expected to surpass sales of cigarettes in the next decade. In 2013, over 250,000 American teenagers who never smoked cigarette reported using e-cigarettes.

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