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Vaping—Not Prior Smoking—is Associated with Changes in Gene Regulation Linked to Disease

November 23, 2021
by Keck School of Medicine of USC


Since they hit the market, e-cigarettes have been touted as a safe alternative to tobacco cigarettes for adult smokers. When research began to suggest otherwise, many questioned whether smoking was still to blame for adverse effects, since most vapers are either “dual users” who also smoke cigarettes or have a prior history of smoking.

Now, a team of researchers at the Keck School of Medicine of USC has demonstrated that—independent of the effects of prior smoking—using e-cigarettes is linked to adverse biological changes that can cause disease. The study, published in Scientific Reports, revealed that vapers experience a similar pattern of changes to gene regulation as smokers do, although the changes are more extensive in people who smoke.

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