USC Study Suggests E-cigarettes Not Harmless Water Vapor

E-cigarette users develop some of the same cancer-related molecular changes in oral tissue as cigarette smokers, according to a study by University of Southern California (USC) researchers. The team analyzed gene expression in oral cells, specifically oral epithelial cells, of 42 e-cigarette users, 24 cigarette smokers, and 27 subjects who did not smoke or use e-cigarettes.

The researchers report both smokers and e-cigarette users showed abnormal expression, or deregulation, in a large number of genes linked to cancer development; in fact, 26% of the deregulated genes in e-cigarette users were identical to those found in smokers. The study, “Deregulation of Biologically Significant Genes and Associated Molecular Pathways in the Oral Epithelium of Electronic Cigarette Users,” is available online in the International Journal of Molecular Sciences.

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