Lung Cancer Home > Do E-Cigarettes Cause Cancer?
Many people assume that because electronic cigarettes don't produce smoke, they are much safer than traditional cigarettes. Is this really true? The answer is complicated. A recent study suggests that e-cigs might increase cancer risk; however, this research was done on cells in a laboratory -- not on actual people. It's still too early to say if e-cigs pose a definite risk.
Do electronic cigarettes (e-cigs) cause cancer? This is the million-dollar question (or rather, the billion-dollar question). Logically, it makes total sense that e-cigarettes probably don't cause cancer or many of the other dangerous health effects of traditional tobacco use.
However, relying on logic instead of evidence-based medicine to determine a product's safety isn't just naïve; it's dangerous. Our knowledge about the intricacies of the human body and the complex ways it interacts with the world is incomplete and often flawed. This incomplete understanding sometimes leads us down logical pathways that turn out to be dead wrong.
On one side of the argument are those who benefit financially from the e-cig industry (such as manufacturers and sellers) and the many e-cig users, who often insist that e-cigs are totally safe and not fundamentally different from inhaling water vapor. They sometimes view e-cigs as the savior that will deliver the human race from the grips of tobacco addiction.
On the other side are many antitobacco groups, such as various medical associations, who usually highlight the fact that we don't have any data showing that e-cigs are safe or that they can help people stop smoking. These groups tend to think e-cigs should be banned until they are proven safe and effective. They view e-cigs as untested, potentially dangerous products that are marketed to kids and designed to look glamorous and make smoking cool again.
Because this is a hotly debated topic, it's wise to be careful of where you get your information. Remember that people have a natural tendency to interpret (or even twist) information to fit their views of the world and their agendas.