Vaping could increase the chances of developing oral cancer, a new study from the University of Minnesota has found.
The study found vaping increases levels of DNA-damaging chemicals, such as formaldehyde, acrolein and methylglyoxal, in saliva.
Exposure to these chemicals increases the risks associated with oral cancer.
‘It’s clear that more carcinogens arise from the combustion of tobacco in regular cigarettes than from the vapour of e-cigarettes,’ Silvia Balbo, the lead investigator said.
‘However, we don’t really know the impact of inhaling the combination of compounds produced by this device.
‘Just because the threats are different doesn’t mean that e-cigarettes are completely safe.’
The popularity of e-cigarettes continues to rise, with a recent study showing 2.9 million people vape in Britain.
Public Health England has previously said e-cigarettes are 95% less harmful to health than tobacco cigarettes.
Its report, entitled E-cigarettes: an evidence update, concluded that vaping can help smokers quit.
‘This report has shown conclusively that the use of e-cigarettes has the potential to further reduce levels of smoking and save people from the many deadly diseases that are caused by tobacco, such as mouth cancer’, Dr Nigel Carter OBE, chief executive of the Oral Health Foundation, said at the time.
‘Smoking is the cause of many serious oral health problems including worsening gum disease, which is one of the most common causes of caries in UK adults.
‘It is also responsible for the majority of mouth cancers and is the direct cause of thousands of deaths every year.
‘There has been a major trend recently towards the use of e-cigarettes, and they are now the number one quitting aid used by smokers.
‘Getting smokers to use safer forms of nicotine such as these can be highly effective in helping people to quit and something that we fully support.’