Prof Wang-Rodriguez said it was uncertain if the results would hold up outside of the lab, but said the effects mimicked the amount inhaled by a ‘chain-vaper.’
“In this particular study, it was similar to someone smoking continuously for hours on end, so it’s a higher amount than would normally be delivered,” she says. She plans to do further studies to see if the effects remain at lower doses.
Charities have also voiced their concerns about e-cigarettes.
“Concerns do remain as to the long-term health impact of e-cigarettes and while there is no evidence to suggest that they pose anywhere near the same dangers as smoking, we must continue to monitor this area carefully,” said Penny Woods, Chief Executive of the British Lung Foundation.
“In the meantime, we do advise that anyone using e-cigarettes to quit smoking should do so with a view to eventually quitting them too.”
Deborah Arnott, chief executive of health charity ASH said it was clear the e-cigarettes were not ‘risk free.’
“What this research doesn’t do is compare the impact of electronic cigarette vapour with that of tobacco smoke, which we know is far more toxic to cells than vapour.” she said.
“Electronic cigarettes are a much safer alternative source of nicotine for smokers than cigarettes, but that doesn’t mean they are risk free and we would discourage anyone who’s not a smoker from using them.”
Public Health England said it would be studying the new research.
Prof Kevin Fenton, National Director Health & Wellbeing at PHE said: “Public Health England has always been clear that e-cigarettes are not 100 per cent safe and we will carefully consider this new study and continue to be vigilant. But our major world leading review, published recently, found that e-cigarettes carry a fraction of the risk of smoking.
“This is because the harmful chemicals found in tobacco smoke, including carcinogens, are either absent in e-cigarette vapour or, if present, are mostly at levels 100th to 1000th found in tobacco smoke.
“The best thing a smoker can do is quit completely now and forever. The best way to succeed is to get help from your local stop smoking service. Smokers who have struggled to quit in the past could try vaping, and vapers should stop smoking. Last year, two out of three smokers who combined e-cigarettes with expert support from a local service quit successfully.”
The research was published in the Journal of Oncology.