New Medical Research: Vape Smoke Damages DNA

Last Updated April 25, 2022

Vaping Damages DNA

Medical Researchers presented data on vape smoke on August 20th, 2018 at the 256th National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society (ACS). The researchers collected saliva samples from 5 volunteers. Then the vape user engaged in a 15 minute vape session, after which their saliva was taken again.  The researchers compared the DNA in the collected cells before and after vaping.

The researchers were interested in e-cig and vape habits due to their unknown health risks:

“E-cigarettes are a popular trend, but the long-term health effects are unknown.”

“We want to characterize the chemicals that vapers are exposed to, as well as any DNA damage they may cause.” – Romel Dator, Ph.D

Can Vape Smoke Cause Cancer?

Using mass spectrometry, researchers found increased amounts of formaldehyde, acrolein and methylglyoxal in the saliva.  Each of these chemicals is known to cause DNA damage in human cells. Cancer is caused by damage to cellular DNA.

Four of the five e-cigarette study participants had measurable DNA damaged in their sample cells, likely related to exposure to acrolein. The type of cellular DNA damage found is known as a “DNA adduct”, and occurs when chemicals like acrolein interact and change DNA inside the cell.

Large Vape Smoke Study

The researchers intend to follow this research with a larger medical study, following a larger population of vapers as well as a control group. DNA damage from vape smoke may cause cancer, and the risks are not well known.

For more information on e-cig and vape use and risks, see our main page here: E-Cig Vape Battery Explosions.

For more information on the risks of inhaling vape juice long term, see our prior article on wet lung.

Reference: American Chemical Society. “E-cigarettes can damage DNA.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 20 August 2018.


Levin Simes Abrams