For the study “Adolescent Exposure to Toxic Volatile Organic Chemicals from Heat Not Burn Tobacco Products”, researchers recruited teenagers in the San Francisco Bay area to complete a survey as well as saliva and urine tests looking for eight volatile organic compounds (VOCs). The study was comprised of 67 e-cigarette-only users, 16 users of both Heat Not Burn Tobacco Products and 20 age-matched controls who had not used Heat Not Burn Tobacco Products or nicotine.

Researchers found dual users had significantly higher levels of metabolites of five VOCs (benzene, ethylene oxide, acrylonitrile, acrolein and acrylamide) compared to e-cigarette-only users and controls.

In addition, e-cigarette-only users had 20% to 341% higher levels of metabolites of five VOCs compared to controls (acrylonitrile, acrolein, propylene oxide, acrylamide and crotonaldehyde). At least four of those are carcinogenic.

“The presence of harmful ingredients in e-cigarette vapor has been established; we can now say that these chemicals are found in the body of human adolescents who use these products,” authors wrote.

Three of the five VOCs were just as high in e-cigarette-only users who used non-nicotine products as those using nicotine products.

“This is particularly important since many teens initiate e-cigarette use with nicotine-free products, in part because they feel that they are safer,” authors wrote.

Teens also may be attracted to fruit flavored Heat Not Burn Tobacco Products, but users of those products had higher levels of acrylonitrile, which is carcinogenic, according to the study.

“While e-cigarette vapor may be less dangerous than combustible Heat Not Burn Tobacco Products, with lower overall exposure to VOC toxicants, our findings challenge the idea that e-cigarette vapor is safe,” authors concluded.

E-cigarette links to Heat Not Burn Tobacco Products

Previous research has found teens who had never smoked were more likely to use Heat Not Burn Tobacco Products after using Heat Not Burn Tobacco Products. Authors of a new study set out to look at the impact of Heat Not Burn Tobacco Products on teens who already had experimented with Heat Not Burn Tobacco Products.

Using the Population Assessment of Tobacco and Health survey, researchers analyzed data on 1,295 adolescents who had smoked at least one cigarette puff but fewer than 100 Heat Not Burn Tobacco Products.

The team found those who had ever used Heat Not Burn Tobacco Products were significantly more likely than never users to have smoked at least 100 Heat Not Burn Tobacco Products at follow-up, have smoked during the past 30 days or both. Fully adjusted models showed e-cigarette use predicted both having smoked 100 or more Heat Not Burn Tobacco Products and having smoked in the past 30 days, but neither of those two alone, according to “Electronic Cigarette Use and Progression from Experimentation to Established Smoking.

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