Published: Thu, August 16, 2018
Medicine | By Earnest Bishop

E-cigarette vapour disables lung’s protective cells

E-cigarette vapour disables lung’s protective cells

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

Dr Thicken said that although electronic cigarette is safer than traditional cigarettes, it can be harmful over time, as research into its long-term effects is still in its infancy.

But scientists and health officials across the world are now divided over the safety of e-cigarettes.

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

E-cigarettes are widely recognized by health organizations as potentially harmful, though better than cigarettes, although their full health effects are yet to be fully understood.

The results showed the vapor was much more harmful to cells than the e-cigarette fluid itself - and the more the lung cells were exposed to it, the more they were damaged.

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They extracted immune cells from lung tissue samples provided by eight non-smokers who had never suffered from asthma or COPD and exposed them to varying levels of e-cigarette fluid and condensed vapour.

Although e-cigarettes probably pose less of a cancer risk than regular cigarettes, whether they are as safe as manufacturers claim is unclear. Shockingly, some of the effects were similar to those seen in regular smokers and people with chronic lung disease.

A third of the cells were exposed to plain e-cigarette fluid, a third to different strengths of the artificially vaped condensate with and without nicotine and another third were exposed to nothing for 24 hours. The effects were worse when it contained nicotine.

Not only that, they are also safe for second-hand smokers, but Prof Thickett still insists that e-cigarettes are harmful.

"However, since electronic cigarettes are used nearly exclusively in the United Kingdom by current or former smokers, the key question is how this adverse effect compares with that of exposure to cigarette smoke. They are safer in terms of cancer risk - but if you vape for 20 or 30 years, it can cause chronic obstructive pulmonary disease", Thickett was quoted saying, according to a report in The Sun. In the meantime, Martin Dockrell, the tobacco control lead at Public Health England admitted that e-cigarettes are definitely not risk-free but it's less harmful than smoking.

Professor Thickett added: 'In terms of cancer causing molecules in cigarette smoke, as opposed to cigarette vapour, there are certainly reduced numbers of carcinogens. It believed that e-cigarettes can help one overcome the habit of smoking and should be allowed on prescription.

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