This past Thursday, a new Japanese study has revealed that E-cigarettes contain up to 10 times more cancer causing substances than regular tobacco.
Business Insider reports that E-cigarettes have recently risen in popularity around the world – particularly in young populations – and function by heating flavored liquid, which often contains nicotine, into a vapor that is inhaled, much like traditional cigarettes but without the smoke.
Upon examining the vapor, a team of researchers from the Japanese Health Ministry detected formaldehyde and acetaldehyde, which are powerful carcinogens.
Researcher Naoki Kunugita stated , “In one brand of e-cigarette the team found more than 10 times the level of carcinogens contained in one regular cigarette…Especially when the…
wire (which vaporizes the liquid) gets overheated, higher amounts of those harmful substances seemed to be produced.” RT.com reports that E-cigarettes are marketed as representing a safe way of smoking, not harmful to one’s health.
Invented by a Chinese pharmacist in Beijing, E-cigarettes appeared in 2003 and have since skyrocketed into a market worth about $3 billion.
Bloomberg Industries predicts that sales of E-cigarettes will exceed those of traditional cigarettes by 2047.
However, Kunugita and his fellow researchers see the risk involved.
He stated , “You call them E-cigarettes, but they are products totally different from regular tobacco…The government is now studying the possible risks associated with them, with view to looking at how they should be regulated.” The World Health Organization (WHO) is also cautious about the effects of E-cigarettes – in August, they called on governments to ban the sale of e-cigarettes to minors, warning they pose a “serious threat” to unborn babies and young people.
They also warned that there was enough evidence “to caution children and adolescents, pregnant women, and women of reproductive age” about e-cigarette use, due to the “potential for fetal and adolescent nicotine exposure (having) long-term consequences for brain development.” However, there are still opponents to these claims.
Business Insider reports that supporters of E-cigarettes claim they are a safer alternative to traditional tobacco, and that the long-term health impact from inhaling their vapor is still unclear.