Vaping causes less damage to our DNA than cigarettes, New Study Reveals
A recent study have found that vaping may not damage your DNA as much as smoking does. It was found that inhaling the same amount of nicotine using an e-cigarette resulted in a very minimal change to genes.
The study compared the effects of vaping to that of smoking because it is known that smoking can cause changes to genes which leads to a wide range of diseases such as cancer and heart disease.
To test this, a 3D model of the human airway was used and put under particular tests such as exposing the tissue to the vapours from an e-cigarette as well as cigarette smoke for an hour. They used two different doses of vapour with one matching the levels of nicotine found in cigarette smoke and the other containing double the amount.
In order to find how the genes were affected, they mapped the genes that were switched on and off over a period of 24 and 48 hours. It was found that the tissue that was exposed to the smoke from a cigarette for a period of 24 hours had 873 genes affected while after 48 hours there were 205 genes affected. However, in contrast to this, there were only three genes affected by e-cig vapour after 24 hours and one after 48 hours. Their findings indicated that cigarette smoke contributed to the development of lung cancer, fibrosis and inflammation.
The e-cig vapour caused minor changes that related to cell metabolism and oxidative stress processes with the former producing free radicals. Studies carried out in the past have shown that there is a link between oxidative stress, cancer and Alzheimer’s.
The results show that cigarette smoke affects cells; however, even at higher doses of e-cig vapour, exposure to nicotine had a small impact on the changes to genes. There are now calls for more independent tests although it has been stated that the results would more than likely replicate these findings but it does show that vaping carries less of a risk than smoking.
E-cigarettes have been designed to help smokers quit and the NHS support the claims that it is better for those who smoke, with reviews finding e-cigarettes being around 95% safer. However, the NHS does make it clear that there are risks with e-cigarettes as they can cause damage to the lungs and increase the risk of strokes. They have also been identified as a negative way of encouraging younger people to take up smoking once they have become familiar with vaping.
Heart experts have been told that vaping is more dangerous than first realized and that it could cause just as many problems with the heart as smoking. This is because they can cause arterial stiffness which is a predictor of heart disease which also increases the possibility of heart attacks and stroke.
There have been calls for flavoured e-liquids to be banned as children are taking a liking to these sweet flavours which are encouraging them to vape. However, many believe that these flavoured
liquids are also encouraging smokers to quit smoking.
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