HomeHealthSmoking e-cigarettes increase cancer risk, damage DNA, study suggests

Smoking e-cigarettes increase cancer risk, damage DNA, study suggests

Amarachi Okeh

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A new study has suggested that vaping – inhaling of a vapor created by an electronic cigarette, could be more dangerous to health contrary to the popular assumptions that it may be a safe alternative to cigarette smoking.

According to the study, just like tobacco smoking, vaping also damages people’s DNA even though it may be to a much lesser degree.

According to the findings of the study conducted by researchers at the University of Southern California, these biological changes can cause diseases such as cancer.

The research as reported by dailymail.co.uk, studied 82 healthy adults who were divided into three categories: current vapers, people who only smoke cigarettes and a control group who had never smoked or vaped.

The research studied 37 current vapers, 22 current smokers and 23 non-smokers in Los Angeles. Excluded from the study result, however, were Vapers who currently smoke.

Blood samples of the participants were taken to determine how many corrupted genes were in the various groups.

After accounting for age and sex, they found a ‘statistically significant’ association of damaged genes in vapers — even if they had never smoked.

When the normal regulation of genes is disrupted, it can interfere with gene function, leading to disease.

The researchers reported that 12 per cent of affected genes in vapers were in the mitochondria — the parts of cells that scientists say can help keep the immune system working effectively and prevent cancer and other diseases from developing.

The number of damaged genes in smokers was around 7.4 times higher than in vapers, the researchers said.

Speaking on the study, the lead author and professor of research population and public health sciences, Dr. Ahmad Besaratinia, said “Our study, for the first time, investigates the biological effects of vaping in adult e-cigarette users, while simultaneously accounting for their past smoking exposure.

“Our data indicate that vaping, much like smoking, is associated with dysregulation of mitochondrial genes and disruption of molecular pathways involved in immunity and the inflammatory response, which govern health versus disease state.”


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