Vaping is safer than cigarettes

Vaping and e-cigarettes have gained considerable popularity as a less harmful alternative to traditional cigarettes

There are 18 million e-cigarette smokers in the United States - 16% of these are high school students according to the research.

But, according to them, the electronic cigarette nonetheless would be less harmful than the conventional cigarette and could help smokers stop.

The damage was seen both to DNA and its ability to fix itself, making cells more likely to mutate and develop into cancer, said lead researcher Moon-shong Tang, a professor of environmental medicine at New York University School of Medicine.

While tobacco smoke contains a host of unsafe chemicals, e-cig liquid consists only of nicotine and relatively harmless solvents.

Cancer research groups, however, were quick to warn against fearmongering and point to previous research indicating that e-cigarettes are far less harmful than smoking. "It's certainly concerning, and certainly gives pause if one were to say e-cigarettes were safe and could be used by all people without consequences".

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Tang exposed mice to e-cigarette smoke for three hours a day, five days a week for three months.

The vapors were produced using 4.2 volts of electricity, at or below the level at which most commercial e-cigarettes function, Tang noted.

Critics caution that the mice in the study were exposed to higher levels of e-cigarette smoke than those who vape might inhale (although Bloomberg reports that, over 12 weeks, mice were exposed to a dose similar to what a human would intake after smoking e-cigarettes lightly for 10 years). However, the researchers also cited another study that found 97 percent less of a key biomarker related to genetic damage in the urine of vaper smokers compared with smokers.

Dr Tang highlighted the increasing popularity of e-cigarettes and vaporisers in recent years as motivation for the research. The report, released by the National Academy of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine last week, stated that smokers who switch to vaping reduce their exposure to lethal toxicants and carcinogens.

There was also conclusive evidence that e-cigarettes can explode and cause burns and projectile injuries. The study seems to reaffirm the basic premise that e-cigarettes aren't as unsafe as tobacco products, but it isn't the first to suggest they (not to mention the various flavours added to them) have their own set of risks.

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