"As a result of this perception, a lot of kids pick up e-cigarette smoking". He worries about people who already have heart disease and may think switching from tobacco to e-cigarettes is enough protection.
Now, it's for India's 100 million adult smokers to decide which part of the story to believe, although Wu says that, "This study clearly shows that e-cigarettes are not a safe alternative to traditional cigarettes". Cigarettes have always been associated with lung cancer-however, they're also a leading cause of heart attacks.
"Until now, we had no data about how these e-liquids affect human endothelial cells", said Joseph Wu, MD, PhD, director of the Stanford Cardiovascular Institute and professor of cardiovascular medicine and of radiology, in a statement.
For the study, scientists from Stanford University School of Medicine investigated the effect of the e-liquids on cells, called endothelial cells, that line the interior of blood vessels. These cells were then exposed to six distinct e-cigarette flavorings in an attempt to see if they can cause any effects without being accompanied by nicotine.
A recent research points to increased risks of cardiovascular diseases due to consumption of e-cigarettes. The negative effects were found to vary in severity based on which flavorings were used with the liquids - and, the study warns, some of the most popular options were the most harmful. In fact, the CDC reported that 38% of high schoolers and 13% of middle schoolers have tried vaping. When e-cigarettes are exposed to six different flavors such as fruit, sweet tobacco with vanilla and caramel, tobacco, cinnamon, sweet butterscotch, and menthol with varying levels of nicotine can occur significant damage.
After administering the flavours on the modified cells, the study found that flavoured e-liquids causes DNA damage, cell death and inflammation. Caramel and vanilla flavors also disrupted the cells, but not as severely.
Finally, other studies have highlighted the risks for brain development in people who smoke electronic cigarettes, related to the presence of nicotine in the liquids used.
"It's important for e-cigarette users to realise that these chemicals are circulating within their bodies and affecting their vascular health", Wu said.
Finally, the researchers compared the levels of nicotine in the blood serum of people after they had vaped e-cigarettes with the levels in people who smoked traditional cigarettes.
"When you're smoking a traditional cigarette, you have a sense of how many cigarettes you're smoking", Wu said.