E-cigarettes harm the immune system more than tobacco

E-cigarettes harm the immune system more than tobacco

Could e-cigarettes harm the immune system more than tobacco?

We have all heard before how detrimental smoking is to our health. Years of research have shown that cigarettes are one of the most dangerous products that humans consume, if not the most dangerous.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention reports that every year, an estimated 443,000 people die prematurely from smoking or smoke exposure, and around 8.6 million suffer from serious smoke-related diseases.

With all the attention focused on cigarettes, other products and substitutions have slipped through the cracks. One product in particular is becoming increasingly popular: E-cigarettes.

E-cigarettes use atomizers to create a vapor by heating up artificial juices and flavorings. Because there is no smoke, just vapor, people have assumed that they are safe.

However, new research from Harvard shows that e-cigarettes are linked to lung disease.

Now, more new research from University of North Carolina (UNC) School of Medicine shows that e-cigarettes harm the immune system more than tobacco.

The digestive systems and respiratory systems are very different,” said Ilona Jaspers, PhD, professor of pediatrics and director of the curriculum in toxicology. “Our stomachs are full of acids and enzymes that break down food and deal with chemicals; this environment is very different than our respiratory systems. We simply don’t know what effects, if any, e-cigarettes have on our lungs.”

As stated in the study abstract:

For her study, Jaspers and her team obtained tissue samples of the epithelial layer inside the nasal cavities of smokers, non-smokers, and users of e-cigarettes. The researchers then analyzed changes in the expressions of almost 600 genes involved in the function of the immune responses. They also obtained nasal lavage fluid, urine, and blood samples from participants to study the changes in genetic and proteomic markers of tobacco and nicotine exposure, as well as other markers of inflammation or immune responses. These studies are being conducted in collaboration with investigators from the University of California, San Francisco, as well as Mehmet Kesimer, PhD, another investigator with the TCORS in Lung Health and the Marsico Lung Institute at UNC.

The researchers studied the effects of cinnamon-flavored e-cigarette fluids and cinnamaldehyde, the chemical that gives the e-cigarette juices their flavor.

They found that the chemical might cause a chain reaction that can hamper the immune system.

Jaspers explained: “The chemicals compromise the immune function of key respiratory immune cells, such as macrophages, natural killer cells and neutrophils.”

The study showing that e-cigarettes harm the immune system more than tobacco was presented at American Association for the Advancement of Science annual meeting in Washington, DC.

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E-cigarettes poison the lungs and weaken the immune system.
E-cigarettes are linked to lung disease.
Smoking linked to most common type of breast cancer.

REFERENCES:
1. “Chemical Flavorings Found in E-cigarettes Linked to Lung Disease.” Harvard Gazette. Harvard Gazette, n.d. Web. 16 Feb. 2016.
2. “Electronic Cigarette Inhalation Alters Innate Immunity and Airway Cytokines While Increasing the Virulence of Colonizing Bacteria.” Springer Link. Journal of Molecular Medicine, n.d. Web. 16 Feb. 2016.
3. “E-cigarettes Impair Immune Responses More than Tobacco.” Medical News Today. MediLexicon International, n.d. Web. 16 Feb. 2016.
4. “Put That in Your E-Cigarette and Smoke It, or Should You?Newswise. University of North Carolina Health Care System, n.d. Web. 16 Feb. 2016.
5. “Tobacco-Related Mortality.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 18 Aug. 2015. Web. 16 Feb. 2016.

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