A lot of debates have been centred on e-cigarettes and ‘vaping’ in the last several years since it was first introduced into the market as an alternative to smoking cigarettes, but could potentially result to more harm than good with the immune system suppressed by vaping as an effect of using e cigarettes.
This groundbreaking discovery was the result of a study conducted by the University of North Carolina before the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) during its latest annual meeting in Washington D.C.
Professor Iona Jaspers, the university’s director of the toxicology curriculum and also a professor on pediatrics, leads the team of researchers that studied tissue samples collected from the nasal cavity of ‘vapers’ (e-cigarette users), smokers and non-smokers. These samples also included blood samples, urine and nasal fluid from the research subjects.
The team was focusing their study on the health of epithelial cells, which are commonly found in the body and acts as a layer that protects the organs and over 600 genes in the human immune system have been tested and analyzed.
They discovered that vapers had higher risks of their immune system suppressed by vaping, which gives the impression that using e-cigarettes could be more harmful than smoking tobacco.
Interestingly, they also found out that cinnamon-flavoured cartridges gave out the worst results after it was assessed to cause hampering of the nasal immune cells, also even hindering some types of white blood cells and bioavailable natural ‘killer cells’ from doing their job of targeting infections and tumours.
Jaspers hinted that it could be the chemical components inducing the cinnamon flavour that might be causing the adverse effects on the epithelial cells, adding that with the immune system compromised, hinted that it could lead to possible impaired functions of the lungs, but is still subject for future research.
Latest statistics from the Statistic Brain Research Institute show that there are 45 million smokers in the United States and 2.5 million of these have switched to vaping. 31 % of this population who tried to use e-cigarettes have quit smoking within 6 months.
However, since it began campaigning as an alternative to smoking and being touted as a safe method, 10% of high school students have already claimed to have tried using e cigarettes.
Vaping has become a billion dollar industry that has seen a very significant increase in annual sales, starting low at $20 million back in 2008 and increases exponentially year after year, projecting a staggering $2.5 billion- a conservative estimate – by the end of 2015.
These findings could cause a big blow in the campaign for a safer alternative to smoking and with the immune system suppressed by vaping, this would still be a health issue that is still worth looking into.
Image Credit: Vaping Suppresses The Immune System – Shutterstock
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