Teens inhaling risky chemicals in e-cigarettes, new research says

Posted March 07, 2018

Study participants who used both e-cigarettes and traditional cigarettes had significantly higher levels of risky chemicals, including acrylonitrile, acrolein, propylene oxide, acrylamide and crotonaldehyde, the researchers said.

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.

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

E-cigarettes are so popular that they're now the most commonly used form of smoking among teens in the United States.

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"I was a pack-a-day smoker for 20 years", said Justice, owner of WC Vapor. Some of the chemicals turned up even when teens used non-nicotine products like fruit flavored e-cigarettes.

The chemicals found in the e-cigarette users' bodies were not itemized on the ingredient list of the vape liquids.

"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.

When used as a predictive factor, any e-cigarette use was positively associated with current established smoking (OR = 1.80; 95% CI, 1.04-3.12); however, no statistical significance was observed regarding the connection between e-cigarette use and established smoking or smoking within the past 30 days. High levels were also found in teens who used both traditional and e-cigarettes.

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"Teenagers should be inhaling air, not products with toxins in them", he added.

The study examined urine samples from 104 adolescents.

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.

This chemical irritates the lungs when it's breathed in, and there's a chance that it could also be linked to breast cancer and brain cancer. Acrolein is found in chemical weapons. Despite massive gains in cutting cigarette use among young adults over the past few decades, e-cigarette use was the most common tobacco product among US middle- and high-schoolers between 2014 and 2016, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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Mark Rubinstein, the lead author of the study, said "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". In 2016, the CDC reported that 11 percent of US high schoolers had vaped in the past 30 days.