Sunday, 24 March, 2019

Vaping may damage immune system and lead to lung disease, study suggests

Anna Jefferson | 15 August, 2018, 10:40

E-cigarettes have been touted as a safer alternative to smoking, but the vapor they create might harm lung tissue much like regular cigarettes do, British researchers report.

They found vapour caused inflammation and impaired the activity of alveolar macrophages, cells that remove potentially damaging dust particles, bacteria and allergens.

"In terms of cancer causing molecules in cigarette smoke, as opposed to cigarette vapour, there are certainly reduced numbers of carcinogens".

"I don't believe e-cigarettes are more harmful than ordinary cigarettes - but we should have a cautious scepticism that they are as safe as we are being led to believe".

This latest small experimental study has been published online in the journal Thorax.

While e-cigarettes are safer in terms of cancer risk, there may be a greater risk of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) after vaping for a number of years, said lead study author, Professor David Thickett.

Martin Dockrell, who is the lead for tobacco control at Public Health England, said: "E-cigarettes are not 100% risk-free but they are clearly much less harmful than smoking".

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E-cigarettes are not as healthy as some people think they are, according to a new study.

The researchers "caution against the widely held opinion that e-cigarettes are safe".

But, the scientists wanted to explore how the chemical composition the liquid changes after being vaped.

The HSE discusses e-cigarettes on its website, and states: "We don't really know until they have been thoroughly assessed and monitored in a large population over time".

Vapers will be happy to hear this was only the result of a small-scale lab test involving lung tissue samples taken from eight non-smokers, in which the cells were mechanically infused with vaping gases to mimic human use of the e-smoking systems. However, it must be remembered that these results were obtained in a laboratory thus further research is needed for better understanding of the long-term health impacts of e-cigarettes.

"Any smoker considering e-cigarettes should switch completely without delay", he urged.

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