The use of e-cigarettes can lead to DNA damage linked to a range of diseases, including coronary heart disease, leukemia and even lung cancer, a new study warns. This damage is caused by exposure to high concentrations of metals derived from wire used in electronic smogaters. Unlike past studies, this latest study involves measuring the level of biomarkers in the urine of e-cigarette users.
Although they vary in shape and size, most e-cigarette products have the same overall design: they absorb the core suction agent of e-cigarette liquid, which is then exposed to a heating element that evaporates when used by the user. The heating element is usually contained in a so-called nephrometer, which usually has brass clips and solders in addition to nickel-chrome heating wire. As the metal heats up, small particles of the metal are released into the vapor.
The user then inhales these small metal particles, which can accumulate in the body and can cause a variety of health problems. The new study from the University of California, Riverside, found that levels of biomarkers associated with metal exposure and DNA oxidation damage increased in the urine of e-cigarette users.
Zinc is particularly high, although e-cigarette users have been found to be exposed to a variety of metals. The metal, known to cause oxidative stress in cells, is too high to indicate that it is driving the DNA damage found. The biomarker levels associated with DNA damage among e-cigarette users are higher than those associated with smokers, highlighting the fact that e-cigarette use is no safer than traditional cigarettes. In fact, in some cases, the use of e-cigarettes can be even worse.