They haven’t been around for long, but ‘e-cigarettes’ are already proving controversial around the globe. Since they involve only vaporizing nicotine, many believe they’re much healthier than regular cigarettes. Others believe they’re reversing the trend in reducing smoking, by making it seem more acceptable. Furthermore, this new craze is highly unregulated, and very little research has been done into their safety.
This article in Nature highlights research reported at the American Association for Cancer Research annual meeting, which indicates that tissue grown under an e-cigarette environment were affected in a very similar way to that grown under a the influence of tobacco.
Although this is only preliminary research, and the team are still working to see if this suggests the cells may become cancerous, it shows that study of these devices is definitely needed, as they ‘may not be benign’, according to one of the researchers, Avrum Spira.
It is certainly worrying, and perhaps people should think twice before inhaling substances which have had very little testing, and which haven’t yet had proper rules and regulations set in place for their circulation.
Personally, I appreciate their obvious health benefits over traditional tobacco smoking, but it greatly concerns me how little we know about what they contain and how they affect the body.
What do you think?