Study Reveals High Excretion of Carcinogenic Metabolites Among Teen E-Smokers

Excretion of metabolites of acrylonitrile, acrolein, propylene oxide, acrylamide, crotonaldehyde up
Excretion of metabolites of acrylonitrile, acrolein, propylene oxide, acrylamide, crotonaldehyde up

HealthDay News — Adolescents smoking electronic-cigarettes (e-cigarettes) only have significantly higher excretion of volatile organic chemical compounds than non-smokers, although the levels are lower than among those using cigarettes in addition to e-cigarettes, according to a study published online March 5 in Pediatrics.

Mark L. Rubinstein, MD, from the University of California in San Francisco, and colleagues examined the presence of chemical toxicants associated with e-cigarette use among adolescents (average age, 16.4 years). Adolescent e-cigarette users were divided into e-cigarette-only users (no cigarettes in past 30 days; 67 participants), dual users (use of cigarettes in addition to e-cigarettes in past 30 days; 16 participants), and never-using controls (20 participants). Saliva was obtained within the past 24 hours of e-cigarette use and urine was collected for analysis of 4-[methylnitrosamino]-1-[3-pyridyl]-1-butanol and eight volatile organic chemical compounds. 

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The researchers found that, compared with e-cigarette-only users, dual users had significantly higher urine excretion of metabolites of benzene, ethylene oxide, acrylonitrile, acrolein, and acrylamide (all P<0.05). Compared with controls, e-cigarette-only users had significantly higher excretion of metabolites of acrylonitrile, acrolein, propylene oxide, acrylamide, and crotonaldehyde (all P<0.05).

"Messaging to teenagers should include warnings about the potential risk from toxic exposure to carcinogenic compounds generated by these products," the authors write.

Several authors disclosed financial ties to companies that market medications to aid smoking cessation and manufacture tobacco cessation devices; one author has served as a paid expert witness in litigation against tobacco companies.

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