Why All The Hysteria That Vaping Causes Cancer?


by James Bickford

Updated: August 3, 2020

mice-were exposed to nicotine and got cancer-study results

With the recent study showing that vaping might be linked to vaping in mice, the internet and media outlets have translated to mean vaping causes cancer in humans. Also, the nature of the study and numerous limitations associated with it suggests the study does not whatsoever relate to vaping in humans.

What Happened?

  • A new study by New York University (NYU) Team shows smoke from e-cigs might have a cancerous effect on mice
  • The study was published on October 7th, National Save Vaping Day, is a mock to some vapers
  • 9 of 40 mice exposed to smoke with nicotine had lung-related issues while 23 of the mice exposed to tobacco smoke suffered from cancerous related issues
  • Though the study claims that it found mice to have cancer sensitive ions that would react with nicotine in the body to expose the body to cancer cells, which would be the same in humans
It has been a rough couple of weeks for the vaping community, with numerous states placing bans on vape sales, irresponsible media coverage on vaping illnesses and deaths, and now the wild scare that vaping causes cancer.

Come on! Who’s fooling who? On Monday the 7th, which also happened to be the National Save Vaping Day, a team from the New York University (NYU) reported to have conducted a study and the findings showed that vaping would lead to cancer in mice after a heavy inhaling for a year!

Caught in the midst of this frenzy, some media outlets went ahead and posted these claims without fully disclosing the full details of what was studied and how it related to human anatomy and human cancer in totality.
click-bait heading by cnbc
click-bait heading about cancer - image
independent.co.uk accuses vaping in cancer - clickbait heading proof image
Some of these media outlets should be ashamed of their actions. Honest press keeps the Facts clear!
e cigarettes cancer news forbes

What Are the Real Facts and Statistics

  • To begin with, only 9 out of 40 mice that were exposed to E-cig smoke with nicotine were for 52 weeks developed lung adenocarcinomas.
  • Of the same population, 23 mice exposed to E-cig smoke had genetic changes that would lead to the multiplication of their cells and bladder hyperplasia.
  • The major percentage of the specimen had severe issues when exposed to tobacco as opposed to nicotine, even though we will further dispute their claims.
According to the same experts, it was hard for them to generalize nicotine as the cause of cancer. There has been a series of conflicting studies over the years on this study, but most tend to agree that it is during the curing of tobacco when chemicals (nitrate and nitrite) are added and these might cause nitrosation. This reaction then converts nicotine to carcinogens such as N-nitrosonoricotine) and nicotine-derived nitrosamine ketone. On the contrary, the new study argues that humans and mice have nitrosonium ions in their cells that will automatically cause the nitrosation, leading to cancer.

The Limitations of the Study

Of importance to note were the sample size used and the period of time the study was used.

Having to study only 40 specimens with only 54 weeks and later publish such a report would not be very conclusive

Steps that would have, by some reason aided them to achieve their targeted results if they were only after ensuring that e-cigs would cause cancer:

  • Also, the mice that were tested were very likely to develop cancer within their lifetime with or without the study in place.
  • The study was also conducted by exposing the mice to high levels of e-cigarette ‘smoke’ over a period of one year, the levels that normal humans would not usually reach with vaping.

Tobacco smoke is among the most dangerous environmental agents to which humans are routinely exposed, but the potential of E-cig smoke as a threat to human health is not yet fully understood. Our study results in mice were not meant to be compared to human disease, but instead argue that E-cig smoke must be more thoroughly studied before it is deemed safe or marketed that way.

– The team lead by Moon-shong Tang, Ph.D.

By affirming that their research was only intended for the mice and their results had nothing to do with humans beats the recent facade that vaping causes cancer.

So, Why the Hysteria?

To most vapers, this new study just doesn’t shed much information but rather a contradiction of all major studies done on this topic.

With the news sending chills down peoples’ spines, the media is highly to blame for this unrest.

Taking advantage of the current click baits within the vaping niche, some media outlets are just reporting to attract readers but misinform readers.

Otherwise, this is just any other research that was published at a time that vaping is on the receiving end of constant backlash, with even President Donald Trump, having plans to impose federal bans on the sale of flavored e-cigarettes.

With tobacco and tobacco flavored e-cigs being spared with most of the bans, one is left to wonder whether the misinformation is a plan by tobacco manufacturers to sabotage vaping in general.

Ideally, vaping had taken over conventional tobacco smoking and now all this turmoil for vaping is likely to be a ploy to deter people from vaping and back to tobacco smoking.

The bottom line, it is very irrational of the media outlets to publicly share false or misleading information just for the sake of attracting numbers. Vaping hasn’t been reported to cause cancer in humans, and that’s the moral of the story!

Published: October 9, 2019Updated: August 3, 2020

James Bickford

My way of understanding the significance of vaping came not only through the disruption of smoking but its effects on society as a whole. Now I bring people to vaping and bring vaping to people. I love using new gear, writing in-depth reviews and generally nerding out about vaping to like-minded people.


Leave a comment

3 comments on “Why All The Hysteria That Vaping Causes Cancer?

  • Ryan Helms

    January 14, 2020 at 2:31 pm

    I wrote a long response on one of your other artilces. I woud love to chat with you and pick your brain abut some things. I am super interested in vaping and nicotine and how it affects humans and how safe is nicotine and so fourth. My email is listed above, Id love to hear from you. Thanks

    • James Bickford

      January 31, 2020 at 3:43 pm

      Hi Ryan,

      Thanks for getting in touch with me! I have tried to find the article on which you left a comment, but with no luck.

      Could you let me know what blog post or article it was? Maybe then we could have that chat ; ) Take care

  • Adelheid Harvey

    November 6, 2019 at 4:57 am

    Very interested in vaping to eliminate tobacco. Why have their been young people fuing from severe lung damage?