AP Biology class blog for discussing current research in Biology

Tag: Nicotine

E-cigarettes linked to cancers and other illnesses

New York State just placed the first temporary ban on the distribution of flavored e-cigarettes. Although this motion was repealed last week due to the “state’s executive overreach” (Tony Abound of Vapor Technology Association), the ban will be rediscussed on October 18th. Actions to reduce use of e-cigarettes are gaining momentum. This is in part due to a recent article discussing a study involving mice, which linked e-cigarette smoke to lung adenocarcinoma and bladder urothelial hyperplasia.

Just published two days ago, Moon-shong Tang, PhD of NYU School of Medicine, studied the affect of e-cigarette smoke on forty mice. Over a 54 week period of exposure, the results were both shocking and devastating. Twenty-three of the forty mice (57.5%) developed bladder urothelial hyperplasia (lack of cytologic atypia in thickened urothelium), changes in gene multiplication, and cancerous abnormal tissue growth. In addition, nine of the mice (22.5%) developed lung adenocarcinomas, a divison of lung cancer. Although the study was restricted due to the small trial size and the full-body smoke exposure opposed to inhalation, it is still prevalent to consider this trail in the dangers of e-cigarettes.

Once nicotine enters a cell, nitrosation (addition of a nitrosonium ion) converts nicotine to nitrosamines, a proven carcinogen. Although a 2017 study revealed nitrosamines in e-cigarette smokers was 95% less than in tobacco smokers, a new study proves mammalian cells already contain nitrosonium which react with inhaled nicotine to produce nitrosamines. Nitrosamine is unable to leave the cell, and therefore is undetectable by blood tests.

E-cigarettes have infiltrated todays society, specifically affecting teenagers and young adults. With appealing flavors and attractive packaging, e-cigarettes has swayed away from helping recovering smokers, to targeting young individuals, who generally have never smoked a cigarette before. I was not surprised to hear this trial’s results, as teenagers across the country have been experiencing hospitalization due to collapsed lungs and other illnesses related to e-cigarettes. I urge everyone to consider the consequences of e-cigarettes before using one.

For more details involving the trail, click here.



Pass Me My E-Cigarette Please…

First the world switched from cd’s to iPods, and then books to e-books. This time we’re ditching the cigarettes and buying E-Cigarettes.

Photo Credit: momentimedia

A new invention that is gaining popularity throughout the world is E-Cigarettes. E-Cigarettes is a fake cigarette that when you treat it like a normal cigarette and take a breath from it, releases nicotine vapors into your body. It is designed to rival the experience of an actual cigarette, while still promoting a healthier option. But is it actually healthy? In this article, scientists and other advocates of cigarette abstinence say no.

Traditionally, the usual ways of quitting smoking can vary from cold turkey to using FDA approved products that also include Nicotine gum. However, these E-Cigarettes have been shown to dramatically aid the quiting process, as seen in a study done by the University of Catania. “After six months, more than half the subjects in Dr. Polosa’s experiment had cut their regular cigarette consumption by at least 50 percent. Nearly a quarter had stopped altogether.” 

Not everyone is so thrilled by E-Cigarette success. The FDA, American Cancer Society, American Heart Association, Action on Smoking and Health, and the Center for Tobacco-Free Kids have banded together against E-Cigarettes. “They argue that the devices, like smokeless tobacco, reduce the incentive for people to quit nicotine and could also be a “gateway” for young people and nonsmokers to become nicotine addicts. And they cite an F.D.A. warning that several chemicals in the vapor of e-cigarettes may be “harmful” and “toxic.””

In many ways E-Cigarette science must still be studied, along with the potential harms it could have on someone’s body. However the incentives to encourage the use of E-Cigarettes instead of normal Cigarettes are clear: “On a scale of harm from 1 to 100, where nicotine gums and lozenges are 1 and cigarettes are 100, he estimated that e-cigarettes are no higher than 2.” 

So what do you think? Should major anti-smoking agencies oppose this potentially safer cigarette substitute? Do you think that smoking is okay? How do you think people should quit if they choose to do so?

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