Carcinogens or cancer-causing chemicals that are found in tobacco cigarettes are also found in e-cigarettes, a new study has found. According to a news report in The Washington Post, the study published in the journal Pediatrics found that teens who use e-cigarettes are ingesting many of the same carcinogens found in regular cigarettes. Young people who use fruit-flavored e-cigarettes may be exposed to even more carcinogens than those who use tobacco-flavored ones. The study was the first to measure toxins directly in the urine and saliva of teen smokers.
The study’s lead author, Mark Rubinstein, a researcher at UC San Francisco’s Tobacco Control Center, says the presence of harmful toxins in e-cigarettes is well established and that those toxins are making their way into the bodies of teens who are using these products. Despite these findings, e-cigarettes are being promoted as less-toxic alternatives for adults struggling to get rid of a regular cigarette habit. But, many say that the wrong message has led to rapidly increasing e-cigarette use among teenagers.
Youth and E-Cigarettes
A 2016 survey by the Department of Health and Human Services shows that more than twice as many teens use e-cigarettes compared to traditional cigarettes. What’s alarming is that many young people use e-cigarettes because they believe it’s safe. They think the vapor that comes out is of water and a lot of the marketing and advertising around these products reinforces those ideas. In addition, fruit-flavored e-cigarettes are the most popular type among teens who participated in the study. Researchers found those who preferred fruit flavors such as cherry and watermelon, which are often marketed to teenagers, had significantly higher levels of the carcinogen acrylonitrile in their system.
Increased Risk of Cancer
While some e-cigarettes contain nicotine, others don’t. Studies show many teenagers who smoke e-cigs think nicotine-free e-cigarettes are not likely to increase the risk of cancer. Studies have also shown that to be untrue. Health officials and researchers have already established that no e-cigarettes are safe. The best way to guard your health is to not smoke at all.
These studies also confirm our product defect lawyers’ suspicions that e-cigarettes are not safer than tobacco cigarettes. However, manufacturers of these products have pumped millions of dollars into marketing them, particularly to young vulnerable people, misleading youth with inaccurate and dangerous information. We call on federal health safety agencies to regulate the products. As consumer lawyers, we will fight hard to hold these manufacturers accountable for the harm they are causing to individuals, especially young people.