E-cigarettes deliver cancer-causing chemicals

Ebony Scott
March 7, 2018

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.

Community education specialist for Shasta County's tobacco program Manuel Meza says they're well aware of the dangers of vaping.

The small study, led by Dr. Mark Rubinstein of the Division of Adolescent Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco, evaluated at least 103 teenagers, with the average age of 16.

"Have the conversation around what is this, sit down and really look at what it does have in it", Hans said.

E-cigarettes, or vape pens, consolidate seasoned liquid and nicotine to convey a less unforgiving type of smoking. Researchers discovered some of the chemicals were also found in adolescents who used flavored e-cigarettes without nicotine. The list of compounds included acrylonitrile, acrolein, propylene oxide, acrylamide and crotonaldehyde.

"Among our e-cigarette-only participants, the use of fruit-flavored products produced significantly higher levels of the metabolites of acrylonitrile", they wrote.

Teens are vaping more often than they are smoking cigarettes, the CDC says.

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The researchers have noticed that the teenagers who were both smokers and vapers, at the same time, presented amounts of toxins in their urine samples by 300% higher than those who only use e-cigs.

When asked what was in their e-cigarette, 66 percent of teens said "just flavoring", 13.7 percent said they didn't know, 13.2 percent said nicotine, 5.8 percent said marijuana, according to a survey by the National Institute on Drug Abuse. High levels were also found in teens who used both traditional and e-cigarettes.

The Tobacco Vapor Electronic Cigarette Association responded to the study citing a government report from January that found there's no available evidence e-cigarette use is associated with cancer.

Other teams have found other potentially cancer-causing chemicals in e-cigarette vapor, including diacetyl, the chemical blamed for causing "Popcorn lung" in workers at microwave popcorn packaging plants.

The latest CDC report found that e-cigarettes were the most commonly used form of tobacco smoked by the 20 percent of high school students who reported any use at all.

Under-18s are nearly three times more likely to use e-cigarettes than adults, according to the most recent data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "Messaging to teenagers should include warnings about the potential risk from toxic exposure to carcinogenic compounds generated by these products". In 2016, the CDC reported that 11 percent of USA high schoolers had vaped in the past 30 days.

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