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Study finds lung cancer in mice exposed to nicotine vaping

A vape pen.
Photo: Rapeepong Puttakumwong/Getty Images

A New York University study has identified a pattern of lung cancer in mice exposed to the same amount of e-cigarette vapor as someone who's been using e-cigs for approximately three to six years.

The big picture: As vaping deaths and illnesses rise, the medical community and health regulators are increasingly concerned about the unknown effects of e-cigarette use. While e-cigs were originally meant to help cigarette users ween off smoking as a whole, vaping has dramatically increased in popularity in recent years, especially among young people.

By the numbers: The study exposed 40 mice to vapes with nicotine for 54 weeks. Out of that population:

  • 22.5% developed lung cancer
  • 57.5% developed pre-cancerous lesions in their bladders
  • Meanwhile, 20 separate mice who were exposed to vapes without nicotine were cancer free

What they're saying:

"E-cigarette vaping can cause lung cancer and pre-cancer changes in bladder in mice. The carcinogenic mechanism is via production of nitrosamines, the proven human carcinogens. So, the probability that e-cigarette vapor is a human carcinogen is high."
— Moon-Shong Tang, the study's lead professor, told Axios.

Go deeper: GOP allies warn vaping ban will sink Trump in 2020