A new study has suggested that electronic cigarettes could be as harmful as tobacco cigarettes.

Chemists at the University of Connecticut used a novel 3D-printed device to test the effects of e-cigarettes and the nicotine-based liquid within them.

The researchers found that the nicotine liquid is potentially as harmful as unfiltered tobacco cigarettes where DNA damage is concerned.

Furthermore, they found that the vapour from non-nicotine e-cigarettes caused as much DNA damage as filtered cigarettes, possibly due to the many chemical additives present in e-cigarette vapours.

‘Some people use e-cigarettes heavily because they think there is no harm’, commented Karteek Kadimisetty, a postdoctoral researcher in University of Connecticut’s chemistry department and the study’s lead author.

How much DNA damage e-cigarettes cause depends on the amount of vapour the user inhales, the other additives present, whether nicotine or non-nicotine liquid is used, and other factors, explained Kadimisetty.

Update 20/11/17: The full study can be found here: Kadimisetty K, Malla S, Rusling JF (2017) Automated 3-D Printed Arrays to Evaluate Genotoxic Chemistry: E-Cigarettes and Water Samples. ACS Sensors 2(5): 670