DENVER, Colo - They've been touted as safer than traditional cigarettes, but we're learning that may not be the case with e-cigs. A new study says e-cigarettes could be one-million times more harmful than polluted air.
“There may be some health risks that we're not aware of yet, because it is such a new venture for everybody,” said Michael Ashley with Mistery Vapor Bar in Denver.
Researchers now say, a by-product of burning petroleum we typically see in roadside air can also be found in e-cigs. They found the level of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) carries various kinds of chemicals that promote growth of cancer cells.
“Some of those chemicals or additives that are in e-cigs are really safe from a general FDA approval, but anytime you change the chemistry of something and inhale it, it changes,” said Dr. Amy Lukowski with National Jewish Health.
The study, from Hong Kong Baptist University, also found a type of flame retardant in e-cigs can affect the reproductive system and lead to cancer.
Dr. Lukowski says the studies are trickling in, but the masses are largely unaware of e-cig health risks or simply don't care, as images of smoking are renormalized.
“We've seen an increase in middle and high school students picking up this product,” she said.
In fact, Dr. Lukowski says, many smokers who try vaping do not quit traditional cigarettes, they simply become dual-users.
If you are looking to quit either cigarettes or e-cigs, National Jewish Health does have a quit line: 1-800-QUIT-NOW.