E-cigarettes contain higher level of carcinogens: Study

E-cigarettes contain higher level of carcinogens: Study

Thu Nov 27, 2014 1:26PM GMT

Scientists have warned against the use of e-cigarettes, saying they contain up to 10 times the level of cancer-causing agents as their tobacco counterparts.

Carcinogens including formaldehyde and acetaldehyde were discovered in the vapor produced by several types of electronic cigarette liquid, researchers at Japan’s National Institute of Public Health said in a report released to the Japanese Health Ministry on Thursday.

Formaldehyde, which can be hazardous to the human respiratory system, was found at much higher levels than carcinogens found in regular cigarette smoke, the research showed.

“In one brand of e-cigarette the team found more than 10 times the level of carcinogens contained in one regular cigarette,” said researcher Naoki Kunugita.

The amount of formaldehyde detected varied through the course of research, Kunugita said, adding that higher amounts of harmful substances are “produced when the… wire (which vaporizes the liquid) gets overheated.”

One brand of e-cigarette, the name of which was not revealed, produced more than a 10-fold level of formaldehyde during a trial run.

In August, the World Health Organization urged governments to put in place tougher rules for electronic cigarettes, warning they pose a “serious threat” to unborn babies and young people.

The WHO said because these devices could potentially damage health, governments should treat them like conventional tobacco products by prohibiting their use indoors and regulating health warnings.

E-cigarettes deliver a nicotine-containing aerosol popularly called “vapor” to users by heating a solution commonly consisting of glycerin, nicotine and flavoring agents.

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