According to the present study, it is explaining that e-cigarettes currently are the most commonly consuming; tobacco substitute in the adolescent population. More than 3 million high school age adolescents as well as about 10 million adults in the U.S. are active users; where this stating that E-cigarettes disrupt lung function and raise risk of infection. The work shows that chronic exposure to e-cigarette vapors disrupts normal lung function in mice and also reduces the ability of immune cells residing in the lungs to respond to viral infection.
These alterations were observed with vapors without nicotine, warranting deeper investigations on the effects the allegedly safe-to-use solvents in e-cigarettes have on people. Some e-cigarette-related studies have reported negative effects of vaping on health, while other reports stand for the safety of the products when compared to tobacco cigarettes. These opposing views on the safety of e-cigarettes prompted one of my graduate students; to investigate the effects of chronic exposure to e-cigarette vapors and to conventional tobacco smoke on murine lung function.
Disrupting lung function
As the study also looking at the effect of vapors or smoke on the function of immune cells called macrophages residing within the lung. These cells represent a first line of defense against viral infections such as those caused by influenza virus. The experimental design consisted of four groups of mice. One group was exposed to e-cigarette vapors; containing nicotine in the common vaping solvents propylene glycol and vegetable glycerin, in the proportions (60/40) found in e-cigarettes.
A second group received vapors with only solvents but no nicotine. These groups were compared with mice exposed to tobacco smoke or to clean air. But according to the study, the tobacco smoke or e-cigarette vapors for four months following a regimen equivalent; to that of a person starting smoking at about teenage years until their fifth decade of life. This smoking regimen markedly increases the risk of people developing emphysema,; a condition in which the lungs’ air sacs are damaging causing shortness of breath.
Severely damaged lungs
Chronically exposed to cigarette smoke or to e-cigarette vapors with nicotine and solvents had severely damaged lungs and excessive inflammation resembling those in human smokers with emphysema. In addition, they observed abnormal accumulation of lipids within resident macrophages. When the mice were exposing to influenza virus; the macrophages with abnormal lipid accumulation responded poorly to the infection.
However, this finding that the treatment with e-cigarette vapors made of propylene glycol; and vegetable glycerin solvents only (no nicotine), which are currently considering to be safe solvents, also damaged the lungs. In this case, the researchers did not observe inflammation and emphysema; instead, they finding evidence of abnormal buildup of lipids (fats) in the lungs that disrupted both normal lung structure and function.