Thomas Sussan from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health conducted a study that showed how mice exposed to e-cig vapor had weaker immune systems compared to mice who did not.
The paper was published in PLOS ONE.
“Our findings suggest that e-cigarettes are not neutral in terms of the effects on the lungs,” said Shyam Biswal, senior author of the article. “We have observed that they increase the susceptibility to respiratory infections in the mouse models. This warrants further study in susceptible individuals, such as COPD [chronic obstructive pulmonary disease] patients who have switched from cigarettes to e-cigarettes or to new users of e-cigarettes who may have never used cigarettes.”
In the study, researchers organized the mice into two groups. The first group was exposed to vapor from Njoy e-cig for two weeks, while the second group inhaled only fresh air. The mice who were exposed to vapors were placed in an environment that mimicked the dose a human would receive using the e-cig for the period involved. Researchers created subgroups in each vapor and fresh air groups. A subgroup was exposed to Influenza A, and the second was exposed to pneumonia-causing bacteria Streptococcus pneumonia. The third subgroup was not exposed to any additional viruses.
An excess of 400 toxins are usually found in a traditional cigarette, and 60 of these are known to cause cancer. E-cigarette, instead of burning tobacco and releasing the smoke filled with toxins, produces an aerosol filled with nicotine that users will inhale. Even though lack of burning prevents the release of some chemicals, a large number of substances and chemicals are still inhaled, altering the DNA and creating conditions for the development of cancer.
“We were surprised by how high that number was, considering that e-cigarettes do not produce combustion products,” Sussan summarized. “Granted, it’s 100 times lower than cigarette smoke, but it’s still a high number of free radicals that can potentially damage cells.”