Smoking e-cigarettes, also known as vaping, may be all the rage — but its not any safer than smoking tobacco products.
Researchers at UCLA say they’ve found that e-cigarettes contain toxic substances and nanoparticles that could kill the top layer of skin cells in the mouth. The scientists believe this could ultimately increase people’s risk of oral disease, including cancer.
‘Significant’ Weakening of Oral Cavity Defense Mechanism
For their study, the research team took cell cultures from the outermost layer of the oral cavity and exposed the cells to two different brands of e-cigarette vapor for 24 hours. The researchers then measured the particle concentration and size distribution of the simulated vapors.
They found the vapors, which contain nanoparticles of metal, silica and carbon, varied in concentration depending on the brand and flavor of the e-cig.
Lab tests on cultured cell lines showed e-cigarette vapors significantly weakened the oral cavity’s natural defense mechanism, causing roughly 85% of the tested cells to die.
Uptick in E-Cigarette Usage
The use of e-cigarettes has increased rapidly in recent years, especially among tobacco smokers who are trying to cut down or quit. The Centers for Disease Control found that 2.4 million middle school and high school students were using e-cigarettes in 2014.
Doctors have backed e-cigarettes as an effective method of quitting smoking, however research into the affects from e-cigarettes is still in its infancy.
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