Friday July 20, 2018

E-Cigarettes loaded with nicotine-based liquid may be as Harmful as Smoking, says Research

Modern e-cigarettes, viewed as a less toxic alternative for people looking to break their habit of smoking tobacco cigarettes, have steadily risen in popularity since they first appeared on the commercial market in 2004

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Smoking. Pixabay
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  • Electronic cigarettes or e-cigarettes are battery-powered devices that heat up liquid and turn it into an aerosol vapour that can be inhaled. Using e-cigarettes is also called ‘vaping’
  • The scientists decided to look into whether the chemicals in e-cigarettes could cause damage to human DNA while testing a new electro-optical screening device they developed in their lab

New York, June 12, 2017: Electronic cigarettes loaded with nicotine-based liquid are potentially as harmful as tobacco cigarettes when it comes to cancer-causing DNA damage, new research has found.

Electronic cigarettes or e-cigarettes are battery-powered devices that heat up liquid and turn it into an aerosol vapour that can be inhaled. Using e-cigarettes is also called ‘vaping’.

ALSO READ: Global Tobacco Treaty in 2005 helped to reduce smoking rates by 2.5 percent worldwide in 10 Years

“From the results of our study, we can conclude that e-cigarettes have as much potential to cause DNA damage as unfiltered regular cigarettes,” said the lead author of the study, Karteek Kadimisetty, from University of Connecticut.

Cellular mutations caused by DNA damage can lead to cancer.

Modern e-cigarettes, viewed as a less toxic alternative for people looking to break their habit of smoking tobacco cigarettes, have steadily risen in popularity since they first appeared on the commercial market in 2004.

The scientists decided to look into whether the chemicals in e-cigarettes could cause damage to human DNA while testing a new electro-optical screening device they developed in their lab.

The small 3-D printed device is believed to be the first of its kind capable of quickly detecting DNA damage, or genotoxicity, in environmental samples in the field, the researchers said.

They gathered samples through an artificial inhalation technique at 20, 60 and 100 puffs of an e-cigarette. The potential DNA damage from e-cigarettes was found to increase with the number of puffs.

Vapour from non-nicotine e-cigarettes caused as much DNA damage as filtered cigarettes, possibly due to the many chemical additives present in e-cigarette vapours, showed the findings published in the journal ACS Sensors.

“Some people use e-cigarettes heavily because they think there is no harm. We wanted to see exactly what might be happening to DNA (as a result of e-cigarette usage),” said Kadimisetty. (IANS)

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Japan Bans Smoking Inside Public Facilities, Seen By Critics as Pointless

The upper house approved and enacted the bill into law Wednesday after it was approved earlier by the lower house

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The law will be implemented in phases through April 2020. VOA

Japan on Wednesday approved its first national legislation banning smoking inside public facilities, but the watered-down measure excludes many restaurants and bars and is seen by critics as toothless.

The legislation aims to lower secondhand smoking risks ahead of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics amid international calls for a smoke-free event. But ruling party lawmakers with strong ties to the tobacco and restaurant industries opted for a weakened version.

The upper house approved and enacted the bill into law Wednesday after it was approved earlier by the lower house.

Last month, Tokyo separately enacted a stricter ordinance banning smoking at all eateries that have employees, to protect them from secondhand smoke. The ordinance will cover about 84 percent of Tokyo restaurants and bars.

But the law still allows many exceptions and the Tokyo Games may not be fully smoke-free.

Japan often has been called a smokers’ paradise. Until now it has had no binding law controlling secondhand smoke and ranked among the least protected countries by the World Health Organization. That has brought pressure from international Olympic officials.

The new national law bans indoor smoking at schools, hospitals and government offices. Smoking will be allowed at existing small eateries, including those with less than 100 square meters (1,076 square feet) of customer space, which includes more than half of Japanese establishments. Larger and new eateries must limit smoking to designated rooms.

Violators can face fines of up to 300,000 yen ($2,700) for smokers and up to 500,000 yen ($4,500) for facility managers.

The law will be implemented in phases through April 2020.

Japan
The new national law bans indoor smoking at schools, hospitals and government offices. Pixabay

‘Too lenient’

The law allowing smoking at more than half of Japan’s restaurants as exceptions is inadequate, said Hiroyasu Muramatsu, a doctor serving on Tokyo’s anti-smoking committee. “The law is too lenient compared to international standards,” he told Japan’s NHK public television. “We need a full smoking ban.”

The health ministry’s initial draft bill called for stricter measures but faced opposition from lawmakers sympathetic to the restaurant industry. The government also was viewed as opposed to harsher measures because the former monopoly Japan Tobacco is still partly state-owned.

In Japan, almost a fifth of adults still smoke. The rate for men in their 30s to 50s is nearly twice as high, according to a government survey last year.

Also Read: Passive Smoking May Spike up Snoring Risk in Kids

Most office workers now light up only in smoking rooms or outdoors, and cities are gradually imposing limits on outdoor smoking in public areas. But most restaurants and bars in Japan allow smoking, making them the most common public source of secondhand smoke.

“Secondhand smoking has been largely considered an issue of the manners, but it’s not,” Kazuo Hasegawa, 47, a nonsmoker who has developed lung cancer, told NHK. “It’s about health hazards. It harms people. And I don’t want younger generations to have to suffer like me.”

In Japan, about 15,000 people, mainly women and children, die annually as a result of secondhand smoke, according to government and WHO estimates. (VOA)