A new study shows e-cigarette vapor causes lung cancer and potentially bladder cancer in mice, CNBC reported. Researchers at New York University said the e-cigarette vapor damaged the DNA of the mice and concluded that vaping is likely “very harmful” to humans as well.
The study was published October 7 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences and funded by the National Institutes of Health. It is the first study to definitively link vaping nicotine to cancer, though study authors say it could be a decade before the carcinogenic effects of e-cigarette use in humans is understood.
“It’s foreseeable that if you smoke e-cigarettes, all kinds of disease comes out” over time, said Moon-Shong Tang, the study’s lead researcher, as reported by CNBC. “Long term, some cancer will come out, probably. E-cigarettes are bad news.”
In the study, researchers exposed 40 mice to e-cigarette vapor with nicotine over 54 weeks and found that the e-cigarette vapor caused DNA damage in the lungs and bladder, and inhibited DNA repair in lung tissues. Results showed that 22.5% of the mice developed lung cancer and 57.5% developed precancerous lesions on the bladder.
Researchers also exposed 20 mice to e-cigarette vapor without nicotine for four years and none of those mice developed cancer.
The amount of smoke the mice were exposed to was apparently similar to what a human would inhale if they vaped regularly for about three to six years. The study results also suggest that inhaling e-cigarette vapor secondhand is potentially harmful.
The study comes after 18 people have died from lung injuries related to vaping in the United States over the last several months. At least 1,080 cases of lung injuries have been reported in 48 states and one U.S. territory, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The illnesses are not linked to one particular substance or device, but officials warn that products containing THC, the active ingredient in cannabis, has been linked to many of the cases.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a press release on October 4, warning people not to use THC-containing vaping products, especially those purchased illegally on the street. Not all cases of lung injury can be tied to THC products, however, and the NYU study underscores the need to continue investigating the safety of e-cigarettes.
Some of the largest e-cigarette makers have come under fire in the months following the lung injury and what the CDC and FDA have called a youth vaping epidemic. About 37% of those who have fallen ill are under the age of 20.
JUUL Labs Inc., which dominated the e-cigarette market, has been called on by Congress to produce documents regarding its marketing practices. The company has been accused of illegally marketing its products to teens, and is currently under investigation by the FDA.
Lawsuits have been filed by e-cigarette users who experienced dangerous side effects from vaping, including lung injuries and cancers. E-cigarette users who suffered these injuries may be entitled to financial compensation. Call 800-631-5656 to speak with a case manager and learn more about your options today.