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Exposure To E-cigarette Smoke Caused Lung Cancer In Mice: Study

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Electronic-cigarettes that are marketed as safe alternatives to tobacco smoking have been gaining popularity, especially among young people. Health issues related to vaping or e-cigarette smoking are also ever-increasing. Almost all e-cigarettes contain nicotine just like regular cigarettes.

A recent study has shown that exposure to e-cigarette smoke or ECS with nicotine caused lung cancer in mice.

The research led by Moon-Shong Tang, NYU School of Medicine found that 9 out of 40 mice, that is 22.5 percent developed lung adenocarcinoma or lung cancer after being exposed to e-cigarette smoke with nicotine for 54 weeks, and 23 out of 40, that is 57.5 percent developed bladder hyperplasia.

Hyperplasia is the enlargement of an organ due to abnormal cell growth, often an initial stage in the development of cancer. Also, none of the 20 mice that were exposed to the same ECS, without nicotine, developed cancer.

However there are limitations to the study, say, the small number of mice involved in the study and the study settings, i.e., the mice did not inhale the smoke as humans would do, instead, they were surrounded by it through whole-body exposure, notes Tang.

An earlier study by the same team found that ECS induces the same DNA damage and DNA repair inhibition in the lungs and bladder urothelium of the mouse as nicotine does in humans.

However, according to Dr. Tang, an in-depth study is required to fully understand the risks related to ECS in humans.

The study was published online in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).

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