Cancer in electronic cigarette smokers occurs earlier – 12/11/2022 – Equilibrium

The use of electronic cigarettes increases the chances of cancer and, in addition, the diagnosis of the disease occurs almost 20 years earlier than in conventional smokers. This is what a retrospective study conducted by American universities suggests, based on information from 154,856 patients collected between 2015 and 2018.

The unprecedented research, published in the journal “World Journal of Oncology”, crossed data on the history of cancer and consumption of vape (English name used for the device). With electronic cigarettes, the diagnosis of cancer occurred on average at 45 years of age, against 63 in traditional smokers. Adherents to the new model also had tumors other than those usually associated with tobacco: the most common were cervical cancer, leukemia, skin and thyroid cancer.

Because they are relatively new, data on the long-term health impact of e-cigarettes is still limited. “But it is already known that they are not harmless and that they can also cause diseases such as asthma and pulmonary emphysema, as well as conventional cigarettes”, says pulmonologist Luiza Helena Degani Costa, from Hospital Israelita Albert Einstein.

The use of the device can also generate acute lung injuries and is associated with changes in blood vessels, which increases the risk of cardiovascular disease.

“We have known for some time that there are carcinogenic substances in the vapor of electronic cigarettes, substances that are inhaled by the user. Although this American study has a series of methodological limitations, there is, therefore, a biological rationale for the results found. the natural history of the disease.”

risk of backlash

Electronic cigarettes were advertised as a safe alternative and gained popularity, especially among younger people. According to the authors, this is the first large population study to point to a possible association between electronics use and cancer in humans.

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In recent decades, the evidence that ordinary cigarettes cause several types of cancer has led to successful awareness campaigns and a drop in smoking rates worldwide. In Brazil, measures such as educating the population, banning consumption and taxation have drastically reduced the number of smokers over the last 30 years — today, only 11% of men and 7% of women smoke.

“Vape consumption is increasing and, without awareness, we can put years of combating smoking at risk”, warns the expert.

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