Recent research from New York University shows that vaping is not as safe as it was once thought. The study shows that vaping leads to mutations in DNA, which in turn causes cancer. In the study, cultured human lung and bladder cells were subjected to the vapor of e-cigarettes, a cigarette alternative that was developed so that smokers could stay away from tobacco’s byproducts that cause cancer.
The researchers discovered higher rates of DNA mutations and the development of cancer than they originally thought. In the study, mice were also exposed to the vapor, and sustained damage to their DNA as well.
The NYU researchers findings were published on January 29 and challenged the widespread notion that vaping is safer than smoking, since the smoke from e-cigarettes delivers nicotine without tobacco being burned, but via aerosols. On Thursday, January 25, the Food and Drug administration declined Philip Morris’ “healthy” alternative to tobacco, the iQOS electronic vaping product.
The FDA deemed that this product had no claims to being healthier than tobacco, and rejected the iQOS manufacturer’s assertion that the e-cigarette would cause fewer incidents of disease and death. The iQOS, shaped like a pen, heats Marlboro tobacco sticks, but does not quite burn them. It can be purchased in 30 other countries.
Philip Morris has said that its goal is to manufacture the first ‘reduced risk’ tobacco product that would be sold in America.
A huge step in the efforts of the tobacco industry as well the government to supply safer alternatives to tobacco would be to obtain FDA approval. Currently, the rate of adult smokers in the US is 15 percent, an all time low. However, smoking is still the number one preventable cause of death and sickness in the nation.
Unlike tobacco smoke, which contains carcinogenic chemicals and nitrosamine, e-cigarette smoke merely contains nicotine and other innocuous organic substances. This has caused vaping to be touted as non-carcinogenic. Another study proved that people who smoke e-cigarettes have almost 100 percent fewer lung carcinogens in the fluids of the bodies, in comparison to those who smoke regular cigarettes.
This does not guarantee that vaping is safe. Moon-shong Tang, from the NYU department of environmental medicine, conducted his research to determine if other products in tobacco, aside from nicotine, caused cancer. His research shoes that while there are fewer carcinogens from vaping than tobacco, people who vape put themselves at a higher risk for heart disease, bladder and lung cancer, than those who do not smoke at all.
Netizens were quick to defend vaping as a healthier alternative to tobacco
Others shared their personal experiences with vaping
Still others warned of the seriousness of health risks