Can vaping cause cancer?

Not exactly. There is no evidence which suggests that vaping can cause cancer. The term ‘vaping’ is often linked to e-cigarettes and is the process of inhaling nicotine vapours released from tobacco. The e-cigarette is a battery-operated smoking device that heats the nicotine liquid into a vapour that people inhale. Although vaping is less harmful than smoking, it is not safe.

According to the American Cancer Society (ACS) website, the vapour consists of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs), diacetyl flavouring chemicals and formaldehyde. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website has shown that vitamin E acetate is a volatile compound and is a major culprit of lung diseases called E-cigarette, or Vaping, Product Use-Associated Lung Injury (EVALI). 

The vapour consists of mostly formaldehyde, acrolein and methylglyoxal compounds that can cause damage to the DNA. These are a few known compounds that researchers are trying to study and understand if vaping can cause cancer. However, there can be more volatile compounds that can damage the DNA in case of the prolonged practice of vaping. 

As DNA damage is the prerequisite condition for cancer, vaping can be a risk factor for cancer. Further research is needed to elucidate the mechanism behind the components of vapour and whether they are potential carcinogens.

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