Vaping Dose, Device Type, and E-Liquid Flavor are Determinants of DNA Damage in Electronic Cigarette Users.Nicotine Tob Res. 2023 05 22; 25(6):1145-1154.NT
Despite the widespread use of electronic cigarettes, the long-term health consequences of vaping are largely unknown.
AIMS AND METHODS
We investigated the DNA-damaging effects of vaping as compared to smoking in healthy adults, including "exclusive" vapers (never smokers), cigarette smokers only, and nonusers, matched for age, gender, and race (N = 72). Following biochemical verification of vaping or smoking status, we quantified DNA damage in oral epithelial cells of our study subjects, using a long-amplicon quantitative polymerase chain reaction assay.
We detected significantly increased levels of DNA damage in both vapers and smokers as compared to nonusers (p = .005 and p = .020, respectively). While the mean levels of DNA damage did not differ significantly between vapers and smokers (p = .522), damage levels increased dose-dependently, from light users to heavy users, in both vapers and smokers as compared to nonusers. Among vapers, pod users followed by mod users, and those who used sweet-, mint or menthol-, and fruit-flavored e-liquids, respectively, showed the highest levels of DNA damage. The nicotine content of e-liquid was not a predictor of DNA damage in vapers.
This is the first demonstration of a dose-dependent formation of DNA damage in vapers who had never smoked cigarettes. Our data support a role for product characteristics, specifically device type and e-liquid flavor, in the induction of DNA damage in vapers. Given the popularity of pod and mod devices and the preferability of sweet-, mint or menthol-, and fruit-flavored e-liquids by both adult- and youth vapers, our findings can have significant implications for public health and tobacco products regulation.
We demonstrate a dose-dependent formation of DNA damage in oral cells from vapers who had never smoked tobacco cigarettes as well as exclusive cigarette smokers. Device type and e-liquid flavor determine the extent of DNA damage detected in vapers. Users of pod devices followed by mod users, and those who use sweet-, mint or menthol-, and fruit-flavored e-liquids, respectively, show the highest levels of DNA damage when compared to nonusers. Given the popularity of pod and mod devices and the preferability of these same flavors of e-liquid by both adult- and youth vapers, our findings can have significant implications for public health and tobacco products regulation.