DNA: the vaper would be as dangerous as the cigarette
Youth vaping is becoming a growing public health problem across the country.
Vaping damages DNA in mouth cells as much as smoking does, new research shows American study.
Researchers at the University of Southern California's Keck School of Medicine have also found that, among users who exclusively vape, some devices and flavors cause greater harm than others.
These results further debunk the myth of vaping as a safe alternative to cigarettes, says Dr. Nicholas Chadi, who is a pediatrician and clinician-researcher specializing in adolescent medicine and addiction at CHU Sainte-Justine.
We are in the process of demonstrating that for the more specific cells of the mouth, there are still quite similar risks between cigarette smoke and vaping aerosol, he said. And that is still interesting because we often tend to say that vaping is so much less harmful, so much safer than cigarette smoke.
Any product inhaled at high temperature, he added, is going to pose risks of mutation in cell reproduction, and when we talk about mutation in cell reproduction, we really mean risk. cancer.
The researchers divided their 72 adult subjects, all of whom were healthy, into three groups: those who were current vapers and had never smoked cigarettes; those who were current cigarette smokers and had never vaped; and those who had never vaped or smoked.
A sample of epithelial cells was taken from the participants' mouths. They were also asked about the frequency and intensity of their vaping or smoking.
The researchers were able to establish that the damage to the DNA, compared to non-smokers, was 2.6 times higher in smokers and 2.2 times higher in vapers.
What is being shown here is that for oral cancers, one would think there is a similar increase in cancer risk between smokers and vapers, Dr. Chadi. We could also think that the more we smoke or the more we vape, the more there is an effect that becomes greater and greater. So whether it's one or the other, there's a proportional effect.
It would also be plausible, he reasoned, to think that the genetic changes are not limited to cells in the mouth, although the study did not look into that.
The highest levels of DNA damage were measured in vapers who used pods. Sweet flavored vapes have been associated with the greatest genetic damage, ahead of mint, menthol and fruit flavored vapes.
These devices and flavors are among the most popular with young people, said Dr. Chadi, and the results come as Canadian leaders consider whether to ban flavored vaping products.
This study , continues the specialist, illustrates the importance of preventing the use of vapers in children and adolescents.
You must avoid exposing young people to these risks, which are not zero and which, studies like that show us, are significant, indicated Doctor Chadi.
The conclusions of this study were published by the magazine Nicotine & Tobacco Research.