(WSVN) - A new study has revealed that e-cigarettes put young smokers at risk of getting cancer, and fruit flavorings appear to be the most toxic.
The study by researchers at the University of California, San Francisco published their findings in the Pediatrics Medical Journal, identifying five chemicals that can cause cancer within the smoking devices.
The study looked at 67 e-cigarette smokers, 16 people who smoke e-cigarettes and cigarettes, and 20 non-smokers to come up with their results. The average participant was 16.4 years old.
“Although e-cigarette vapor may be less hazardous than tobacco smoke, our findings can be used to challenge the idea that e-cigarette vapor is safe, because many of the volatile organic compounds we identified are carcinogenic,” the study read.
E-cigarettes contain additives and solvents, which can form carcinogenic compounds when heated, according to the study.
“Among our e-cigarette–only participants, the use of fruit-flavored products produced significantly higher levels of the metabolites of acrylonitrile,” the scientists wrote in their findings.
Study participants who used both e-cigarettes and traditional cigarettes had significantly higher levels of dangerous chemicals, including acrylonitrile, acrolein, propylene oxide, acrylamide and crotonaldehyde, the researchers said.
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 many of the same toxic chemicals.
“Acrylonitrile is a highly poisonous compound used widely in the manufacture of plastics, adhesives and synthetic rubber,” the National Center for Biotechnology Information says on its website, while acrolein is considered to be “toxic to humans following inhalation, oral or dermal exposure,” according to the EPA.
Last week, a study of nearly 70,000 people found that daily e-cigarette use can double the risk for heart attack. If the user continues to smoke regular cigarettes each day along with e-cigarettes, the combined risk goes up five times, the researchers said.
“E-cigarettes are widely promoted as a smoking cessation aid, but for most people, they actually make it harder to quit smoking, so most people end up as so-called ‘dual users’ who keep smoking while using e-cigarettes,” said Stanton Glantz, lead author of the latter study, in a statement.
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