Vaping e-cigarettes might not be as safe as people believe - and the devices should be treated with "caution", a new study has warned. They used lung tissue samples by eight non-smokers and found out that vapour from e-cigarettes caused "inflammation and impaired the activity of alveolar macrophages" - which are cells that remove damaging dust particles, bacteria, and allergens.
According to lead study author, Professor David Thickett, while e-cigarettes are safer in terms of cancer risk than ordinary cigarettes, there may be a greater risk of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) in the long run. "But if you vape for 20 or 30 years and this can cause COPD, then that's something we need to know about".
"I don't believe that e-cigarettes are more unsafe than cigarettes but I think we should have a cautious scepticism that they are as safe as we are being led to believe".
With or without nicotine, e-cigarette vapor increases inflammation and disables cells that protect lung tissue, human tissue tests reveal.
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.
However, the study stated that the effects are similar to those seen in regular smokers and patients with chronic lung disease. A large number of e-cigarette companies are being bought up by tobacco companies and there's certainly an agenda to portray e-cigarettes as safe. The World Health Organisation (WHO) has also expressed concerns regarding the toxins that could be released when the e-cigarette fluids are heated for vaping.
The vaping process damaged the vital immune system cells, they concluded.
"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".
This week the government's Science and Technology committee would release a report on the safety of e-cigarette smoke.
The effects were worse when it contained nicotine. Well, now they say switching from warm smoky air to cold apple-flavoured air isn't all that wonderful a change to make, as huffing vapourised chemical compounds gives your lungs an entirely new collection of shit to deal with.
Public Health England (PHE) has told smokers that vaping is a preferable habit because it "poses only a small fraction of the risks" and switching completely from smoking to vaping conveys "substantial health benefits". This study, however, suggests that long-term vaping can lead to lung damage.