With many smokers relying on vaping to satisfy their nicotine cravings, many worry about their health risks. Although e-cigarettes do not produce smoke, their nicotine content has left some vapers worried as to whether their vapor may damage DNA and lead to tumours. Yet, a new study has revealed e-cigarettes do NOT cause cancer. The finding re-enforces claims that e-cigs are a safer alternative to tobacco, the study claims.
According to Action on Smoking and Health, around 2.8 million adults in the UK use e-cigarettes. Researchers from London-based British American Tobacco exposed laboratory cells to the emissions of an electronic or standard cigarette. The study, published in the journal of Environmental and Molecular Mutagenesis, revealed that only traces of the normal cigarette collected in the cells and promoted tumour development. The e-cigarette caused no cancer-related toxicity at any nicotine dose.
Following these findings, the researchers plan to use similar methods to their laboratory cell technique, known as a Bhas 42 assay, to continue to compare conventional and electronic cigarettes. Study author Dr Damien Breheny stated:
This is the first time this particular test, the Bhas 42 assay, has been used to compare tobacco and nicotine products. It is one of a series of tests being developed and refined by British American Tobacco to compare the relative biological effects of e-cigarettes and tobacco-heating products with conventional cigarettes.
This comes after an investigation by the Royal Society of Public Health found 9 out of 10 ecigarette retailers sell the products to customers who had never smoked. This contravenes retail guidelines. The investigation looked into 100 of the UK’s specialist vape shops and found 87 per cent of stores were knowingly or unwittingly prepared to sell e-cigarettes to non-historic smokers. Results also revealed that 45 per cent of stores did not check whether new customers were current or former smokers. Of those that did check, 76 per cent continued to encourage the customer to start vaping, even once they knew they were a non-smoker.
Comparative tumor promotion assessment of e-cigarette and cigarettes using the in vitro Bhas 42 cell transformation assay
In vitro cell transformation assays (CTA) are used to assess the carcinogenic potential of chemicals and complex mixtures and can detect nongenotoxic as well as genotoxic carcinogens. The Bhas 42 CTA has been developed with both initiation and promotion protocols to distinguish between these two carcinogen classes. Cigarette smoke is known to be carcinogenic and is positive in in vitro genotoxicity assays. Cigarette smoke also contains nongenotoxic carcinogens and is a tumour promoter and cocarcinogen in vivo. We have combined a suite of in vitro assays to compare the relative biological effects of new categories of tobacco and nicotine products with traditional cigarettes. The Bhas promotion assay has been included in this test battery to provide an in vitro surrogate for detecting tumor promoters. The activity of an electronic cigarette (e-cigarette; Vype ePen) was compared to that of a reference cigarette (3R4F) in the promotion assay, using total particulate matter (TPM)/aerosol collected matter (ACM) and aqueous extracts (AqE) of product aerosol emissions. 3R4F TPM was positive in this assay at concentrations ≥6 µg/mL, while e-cigarette ACM did not have any promoter activity. AqE was found to be a lesssuitable test matrix in this assay due to high cytotoxicity. This is the first study to use the Bhas assay to compare tobacco and nicotine products and demonstrates the potential for its future application as part of a product assessment framework. These data add to growing evidence suggesting that e-cigarettes may provide a safer alternative to traditional cigarettes. Environ. Mol. Mutagen. 58:190–198, 2017. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Full Research Article found here.