CBS Local — While many reports are split on how harmful e-cigarettes are for teens and adults, a new study is claiming that vaping is just as bad for you as picking up a real cigarette.

According to scientists at the University of Connecticut, a brand new test that examines DNA has concluded that the nicotine liquid-filled devices can cause as much damage to humans as standard tobacco products.

“From the results of our study, we can conclude that e-cigarettes have as much potential to cause DNA damage as unfiltered regular cigarettes,” chemist Karteek Kadimisetty said in a university release.

UConn’s researchers tested how known cancer-causing chemicals found in regular cigarettes damaged a DNA sample and compared it to how the various chemicals e-cigarettes use affected DNA. According to the chemists, the damage caused by vaping increased as a person took more puffs of an e-cigarette. “I never expected the DNA damage from e-cigarettes to be equal to tobacco cigarettes,” Kadimisetty said. “I even diluted the samples. But the trend was still there – something in the e-cigarettes was definitely causing damage to the DNA.”

Typically, an e-cigarette is filled with chemicals like propylene glycol, glycerine, nicotine, and flavorings such as menthol or mint.

The UConn test was made possible by a revolutionary 3D printing process. Scientists manufactured the DNA sampling chips, which can cost thousands of dollars, for just a dollar per unit. “What we developed is very cheap to make, efficient, and can be used by almost anyone,” UConn chemistry professor James Rusling added.

The team added that they hope this new test will provide researchers with a low-cost method of detecting cancer earlier in patients.

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