E-cigarettes expose teens to cancer-causing chemicals

Teenagers who use electronic cigarettes are exposed to cancer-causing chemicals found in tobacco even when the e-cigarettes don't contain nicotine according to a study by the University of California San Francisco

While those who smoke regular cigarettes had the highest levels, the study said e-cigarettes also pose a significant risk, in part because they are often promoted as being safer despite containing numerous same toxic chemicals.

Prof Rubinstein said kids should never use e-cigarettes, devices created to help people quit smoking giving the nicotine hit without exposing them to tobacco.

But those who vape e-cigarettes also have higher levels of the cancer-causing chemicals than nonsmokers.

For the study, researchers analyzed saliva and urine samples from a group of teens with an average age of 16.

'E-cigarettes have the potential to addict the next generation, ' he 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.

Dr. Mark L. Rubinstein, a leading author of the study and professor of pediatrics from the University of California San Francisco said in a statement that, "Teenagers need to be warned that the vapor produced by e-cigarettes is not harmless water vapor, but actually contains some of the same toxic chemicals found in smoke from traditional cigarettes".

'Teenagers should be inhaling air, not products with toxins in them'. They were compared with a control group of 20 non-smoking teens. We can all probably agree we want our kids exposed to the least amount of cancer-causing chemicals as possible.

They said teenagers who try vaping are poisoning themselves with numerous same chemicals that make traditional cigarettes so deadly.

Rubinstein said that glycerin and propylene glycol, which are used to store liquid forms of the products smoked in the electronic cigarettes are considered safe at room temperature.

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.

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

ABC News reported, researchers discovered that acrylonitrile was higher in fruit-flavored e-cigarettes and that was the most popular product among the adolescents.

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

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 risky e-cigarettes are.

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