E-cigarettes may harm immune system: Study


New York: E-cigarettes compromise the immune system in the lungs and generate some of the same potentially dangerous chemicals found in traditional nicotine cigarettes, says a team of researchers including an Indian-origin scientist.”Our findings suggest that e-cigarettes are not neutral in terms of the effects on the lungs,” said senior author Shyam Biswal, professor at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in the US.

E-cigarettes are an emerging public health concern, as they gain popularity among current and former smokers as well as those who have never smoked, including teenagers.

The perception that e-cigarettes pose little health risk is so entrenched that some smokers, including those with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), are switching from cigarettes to e-cigarettes, the researchers noted.

“We have observed that they increase the susceptibility to respiratory infections in the mouse models,” Biswal noted. For the study, researchers divided the mice into two groups: one was exposed to e-cigarette vapour in an inhalation chamber in amounts that approximated actual human e-cigarette inhalation for two weeks, while the other group was just exposed to air.