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Sci Rep. 2017 May 17;7(1):2028. doi: 10.1038/s41598-017-02317-8.

E-cigarettes induce toxicological effects that can raise the cancer risk.

Author information

1
Department of Pharmacy and Biotechnology, Alma Mater Studiorum-University of Bologna, Via Irnerio 48, 40126, Bologna, Italy. donatella.canistro@unibo.it.
2
Department of Pharmacy and Biotechnology, Alma Mater Studiorum-University of Bologna, Via Irnerio 48, 40126, Bologna, Italy.
3
Department of Life Sciences, University of Parma, Parco Area delle Scienze 11A, 43124, Parma, Italy.
4
Inter-Departmental Centre for Agri-Food Industrial Research, Alma Mater Studiorum-University of Bologna, Via Quinto Bucci 336, 47521, Cesena, Italy.
5
Department of Agricultural and Food Sciences, Alma Mater Studiorum-Università di Bologna, Viale Fanin 40, 40127, Bologna, Italy.
6
Department of Neurofarba, Section of Pharmacology and Toxicology, University of Florence, Florence, Italy.
7
Department of Biomedical and Neuromotor Sciences, Alma Mater Studiorum-University of Bologna, Via Irnerio 48, 40126, Bologna, Italy.
8
Department of Chemistry "G. Ciamician", Alma Mater Studiorum-University of Bologna, Via S. Giacomo 11, 40126, Bologna, Italy.
9
Department of Agricultural Biology and Biotechnology, CNR, Via Moruzzi 1, 56124, Pisa, Italy.
10
Center for Environmental Toxicology, Environmental Protection and Health Prevention Agency Emilia-Romagna Region (ER-EPA), Bologna, Italy.

Abstract

Electronic cigarettes (e-cigs) are devices designed to deliver nicotine in a vaping solution rather than smoke and without tobacco combustion. Perceived as a safer alternative to conventional cigarettes, e-cigs are aggressively marketed as lifestyle-choice consumables, thanks to few restrictions and a lack of regulatory guidelines. E-cigs have also gained popularity among never-smokers and teenagers, becoming an emergent public health issue. Despite the burgeoning worldwide consumption of e-cigs, their safety remains largely unproven and it is unknown whether these devices cause in vivo toxicological effects that could contribute to cancer. Here we demonstrate the co-mutagenic and cancer-initiating effects of e-cig vapour in a rat lung model. We found that e-cigs have a powerful booster effect on phase-I carcinogen-bioactivating enzymes, including activators of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), and increase oxygen free radical production and DNA oxidation to 8-hydroxy-2'-deoxyguanosine. Furthermore, we found that e-cigs damage DNA not only at chromosomal level in peripheral blood, such as strand breaks in leucocytes and micronuclei formation in reticulocytes, but also at gene level such as point mutations in urine. Our results demonstrate that exposure to e-cigs could endanger human health, particularly among younger more vulnerable consumers.

PMID:
28515485
PMCID:
PMC5435699
DOI:
10.1038/s41598-017-02317-8
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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