Electronic cigarettes can change gene expression in a similar way to tobacco, according to one of the first studies to investigate the biological effects of the devices.
Presented at the American Association for Cancer Research annual meeting on 6 April in San Diego, California, the research looked at human bronchial cells that contained some mutations found in smokers at risk of lung cancer. The cells were immortalized, grown in culture medium that had been exposed to e-cigarette vapour and their gene expression profiled.
The researchers found that the cells grown in medium exposed to the vapour of e-cigarettes showed a similar pattern of gene expression to those grown in a medium exposed to tobacco smoke…
The changes are not identical, says study researcher Avrum Spira, who works on genomics and lung cancer at Boston University in Massachusetts. But “there are some striking similarities”, he says. The team is now evaluating whether the alterations mean that cells behave more like cancer cells in culture.
I don’t doubt the companies making a buck from this latest tobacco “substitute” will fight to the death to protect their profits. Your death. Their profits.