Teens who use e-cigarettes exposed to toxic chemicals, study finds

Teens who use e-cigarettes exposed to toxic chemicals, study finds

Adolescents who smoke e-cigarettes are exposed to significant levels of potentially cancer-causing chemicals also found in tobacco cigarettes, even when the e-cigarettes do not contain nicotine, according to a study by UC San Francisco researchers.

When asked whether they used liquid with nicotine, 31 percent of participants said "always", 39 percent said "sometimes", 15 percent said "unsure" and 15 percent said "never".

"Teenagers need to be warned that the vapor produced by e-cigarettes is not harmless water vapor, but actually contains some of the same toxic chemicals found in smoke from traditional cigarettes", said lead author Mark L. Rubinstein, MD, a professor of pediatrics at UCSF.

"Have the conversation around what is this, sit down and really look at what it does have in it", Hans said.

The study, published the latest edition of the medical journal Pediatrics, found that levels of toxic organic compounds in tested teens were up to three times higher on average in the e-cigarette users compared with a non-smoking, non-vaping control group, UCSF said.

"Unlike adults, particularly cigarette smokers, who commonly report a desire to quit smoking as a main motivator for e-cigarette use, youth are more likely to cite curiosity as a reason to try e-cigarettes".

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Test analysing the teens' pee and spit samples revealed traces of several chemicals linked to cancer, including acrylamide - found in chips and burned toast previous year.

Chemicals like acrolein, propylene oxide, acrylamide and crotonaldehyde and acrylonitrile, a chemical found in fruit flavored e-cigarettes. The National Center for Biotechnology Information says,"Acrylonitrile is a highly poisonous compound used widely in the manufacture of plastics, adhesives and synthetic rubber". High levels were also found in teens who used both traditional and e-cigarettes.

"So while it sounds very bad, they don't compare it to cigarettes and they're not telling you what the levels in these devices are", owner of Norcal Vape Keri Hess said. If the user continues to smoke regular cigarettes each day along with e-cigarettes, the combined risk goes up five times.

Under-18s are nearly three times more likely to use e-cigarettes than adults, according to the most recent data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

In their turn, the teenagers who consume e-cigs, exclusively, presented by 300% higher amounts of toxins in their urine samples in comparison to the teenagers who don't smoke or vape. In 2016, the CDC reported that 11 percent of USA high schoolers had vaped in the past 30 days.

The Tobacco Vapor Electronic Cigarette Association responded to the study citing a government report from January that found there's no available evidence e-cigarette use is associated with cancer.

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