Teens who use e-cigarettes exposed to toxic chemicals, study finds

Bryan Strickland
March 7, 2018

E-cigarettes contain cancer-causing chemicals similar to those found in traditional cigarettes, according to new research exploring the unknown dangers of electronic nicotine delivery systems, especially as their use becomes more widespread among teenagers. Both forms of cigarette use caused the presence of much higher levels of risky chemicals in the users' bodies, including acrylonitrile, acrolein, propylene oxide, acrylamide and crotonaldehyde, the team reported. Levels were three times as high as those who used just e-cigarettes.

It found that teenagers who smoke tobacco-based cigarettes have the highest levels of cancer- causing chemicals in their bodies.

The study consisted of saliva and urine tests from 67 e-cigarette-only San Francisco-area users, 16 users of both cigarettes and e-cigarettes, and 20 age-matched controls who had not used e-cigarettes or nicotine, the American Academy of Pediatrics said.

"It is indicated in our results that among youth cigarette experimenters, those who have also used e-cigarettes are more likely to progress to current established smoking than those who tried cigarettes alone", Chaffee and colleagues wrote.

The National Center for Biotechnology Information said acrylonitrile is a highly poisonous compound used widely in the manufacture of plastics, adhesives, and synthetic rubber.

Apparently, the "flavor" of the e-cigarette cartridge matters.

Acrolein "is toxic to humans following inhalation, oral or dermal exposure", the Environmental Protection Agency says.

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"E-cigarettes are marketed to adults who are trying to reduce or quit smoking as a safer alternative to cigarettes", said Rubinstein.

Since vapors have been invented, more young adults are using the trendy product every day.

Many studies support the theory that kids who vape are more likely to go on to use other tobacco products, but there hasn't been much hard evidence about how directly unsafe e-cigarettes are.

The compounds examined in the study include acrylonitrile, acrolein, propylene oxide, acrylamide and crotonaldehyde, all of which have been associated with increased cancer-risk in previous studies. However, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warns there is enough evidence that vaping can be harmful to teens. However, several public health groups, the CDC and the surgeon general's office believe that vaping first gets teens addicted to nicotine, which ultimately leads them to regular cigarette use.

The group that used both e-cigarettes and traditional cigarettes had levels that were six times higher.

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.

Other reports by GlobalViralNews

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