Researchers have found that tobacco-free cigarettes may be more carcinogenic by actually inducing more extensive DNA damage than tobacco products. The findings will be published in the journal Cell Cycle.
Using laser scanning cytometry (LSC) technology to measure DNA damage response to the smoke, the researchers found that exposure of cells to smoke from tobacco- and nicotine-free cigarettes leads to formation of double-strand DNA breaks (DSBs). Since DSBs are potentially carcinogenic, the data indicate that smoking tobacco- and nicotine-free cigarettes is at least as hazardous as those containing tobacco and nicotine.
The technique the researchers used to measure the harmful effects of tobacco- and nicotine-free cigarettes is the same technique they developed to document the harmful effects of tobacco products.