Many people have been shifting from conventional cigarettes to electronic cigarettes in the assumption that the electric ones are safer and less harmful than the conventional ones. However, a new study revealed that e-cigarettes may do the equal amount of damage to gums and tissue as conventional cigarette.

The study, published in the journal Oncotarget, showed for the first time that e-cigarettes have detrimental effects on oral health on cellular and molecular levels.

E-cigarettes commonly contain a battery, heating device and cartridge to hold the liquid. The liquids used in e-cigarette, or also known as e-juice, may contain nicotine, flavorings and other chemicals. This battery-powered device works by heating the liquid in the cartridge, turning it into vapor that will be inhaled by the user.

"We showed that when the vapors from an e-cigarette are burned, it causes cells to release inflammatory proteins, which in turn aggravate stress within cells, resulting in damage that could lead to various oral diseases," explained Irfan Rahman, Ph.D. professor of Environmental Medicine at the UR School of Medicine and Dentistry and lead author of the study, in a press release. "How much and how often someone is smoking e-cigarettes will determine the extent of damage to the gums and oral cavity."

For the study, the researchers exposed 3-D human, non-smoker gum tissue to the vapors of e-cigarette. The researchers found that flavoring chemicals play a role in damaging cells in the mouth, with some flavorings more damaging than others. Aside from the flavoring chemicals, the researchers also noted that e-cigarettes contain nicotine, which is also known to contribute to gum disease.

With their findings, the researchers hope for further research regarding the safety and potential adverse health effects of e-cigarettes. The researchers are also urging manufacturers to disclose all materials and chemicals used in their products, informing consumers about the potential danger of e-cigarette.