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E-cigarettes proven to be as good as ordinary cigarettes to cause DNA damage.

 

That states American scientists in the ACS Sensors magazine. In their studies, they compare e cigarette with and without nicotine with plain and non-filter cigarettes.

Device

The researchers then used a 3D-printed device that can determine to what extent certain substances cause DNA damage. In the device, human metabolic enzymes and human DNA were contacted with substances contained in the e cigarette and substances contained in a regular cigarette. While these substances were tested, they were converted to their metabolites (something that also happens in the human body). And reactions between those metabolites and the DNA generate light detected by a camera. The intensity of that light betrays within five minutes to what extent the substances cause DNA damage. "What we have developed is very cheap to make, very efficient and can be used by almost everyone," researcher James Rusling says about the device.

With and without nicotine

The research shows that e-cigarettes containing nicotine as well as regular non-filter cigarettes are capable of causing DNA damage. The study further shows that the vapor of non-nicotine e cigarettes causes as much DNA damage as filter cigarettes. This may be because there are so many chemicals in the e-cigarette's vapor.

 

Cancer

DNA damage leads to cellular mutations, which can lead to cancer again. The extent to which e-cigarettes lead to DNA damage, depends on the amount of vapor inhaled by the smoker, which substances are in the e-cigarette, and whether or not nicotine is used, the researchers emphasize. But that does not matter to their main conclusion. "We can conclude that e-cigarettes have the potential to cause as much DNA damage as unfiltered plain cigarettes," says researcher Karteek Kadimisetty.

 

Unclearness

E-cigarettes are battery powered cigarettes that heat a liquid and convert into a vapor that can be inhaled. The liquid contained in an e-cigarette usually consists of propylene glycol, glycerin, nicotine and a taste, such as menthol, cherry or vanilla. There are also e-cigarettes available without nicotine. Usually, e-cigarettes are seen as a better alternative to the regular cigarette. But it is still unclear whether the e-cigarette is really a healthier alternative. "Some people use e-cigarettes frequently because they think it's impossible," says Kadimisetty. "We wanted to check what happens to the DNA exactly."

The researchers, in their study, estimated that 20 cigarette cigarettes were similar to the smoking of 1 regular cigarette. That is in line with previous research. The researchers went after what 20 tensile, 60 and 100 traits of an e-cigarette had for effect. This shows that the potential DNA damage that can cause e-cigarettes increases as one takes more tricks.