In 2010, a weekly, peer-reviewed medical journal on oncology was established called OncoTarget. OncoTarget is published by Impact Journals and the editors are Mikhail Blagosklonny and Andrei Gudkov of the Roswell Park Cancer Institute. The journal seeks to notify the public, both from a medical and patient standpoint on viewing research being conducted, scientific breakthroughs, learning, and more, and beyond just oncology. One of the finds that OncoTarget discovered is the effects e-cigarettes can have on a person. The study was published in November, of 2016.
E-cigarettes were thought to be the answer to regular cigarettes, supposedly posing less of a health risk or ‘safer’ than the real thing. E-cigarettes or electronic cigarettes work by creating an aerosol from heated liquid inside the hand held device. The user of the e-cigarette then inhales the vapor, much like a real cigarette. The e-liquid which produces the aerosol, contains nicotine, flavors, propylene glycol, and glycerol. While the e-cigarette is supposed to make a person smoking regular cigarettes, there is some concern that kids are using e-cigarettes because of the flavors and may lead to actual smoking.
The University of Rochester Medical Center came out with a study that e-cigarettes can cause more than just a sore throat and minor mouth irritations, but that they can cause gum and tooth damage just as much as regular cigarettes. Published by OncoTarget, the study was led by a professor of Environmental Medicine from the UR School of Medicine and Dentistry, Irfan Rahman, PhD. It is the very first kind of study performed on e-cigarettes and the negative impacts it has on one’s health. It also addresses the growing popularity among young adults to use e-cigarettes, thinking that it is a safe alternative.
Scientists once thought that the chemicals found in the e-cigarette smoke was the issue, the study showed that the flavorings were one culprit as well as the vapors being burned in the e-cigarette caused cells to react and produce inflammatory proteins, and cause immense stress to cells. This stress then causes the damage that can lead to a variety of oral diseases. This study was peer-reviewed before being submitted to OncoTarget, and while the study shows the potential damage e-cigarettes can cause, it is not the end of it. More research is needed, including long term effects and comparative studies, and to make manufacturers print on their product the chemicals and materials used so consumers can educate themselves before use. Oncotarget is published by Impact Journals.