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Electronic Cigarettes May Lead To Lung Damage According To New Study

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Electronic Cigarettes May Lead To Lung Damage According To New Study

According to new findings presented at the European Respiratory Society’s Annual Congress in Vienna , electronic cigarettes could have harmful effects to the lungs. Electronic cigarettes are devices, with a design  that resembles to cigarettes,  through which nicotine is inhaled. Because electronic cigarettes do not contain any harmful substances or tobacco, they were considered safer than tobacco. However, electronic cigarettes health effects have not been studied very much.

Researchers at the University of Athens in Greece wanted to know what are the short-term effects of these electronic devices. They conducted a study that included many participants, both smokers and nonsmokers. Of the 32 participants, 8 were nonsmokers and 24 were smokers. Some of the smokers had normal respiratory function (11), while the other 13 had either asthma or COPD. All study participants had to use an electronic cigarette for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, the researchers measured levels of airway resistance using spirometry tests. What was found was that all participants had an increase in airway resistance. Moreover, this increase was statistically significant resistance in nonsmokers (182% to 206%). In those with impaired respiratory function (COPD and asthma) electronic cigarettes had no immediate effect in terms of airway resistance. The researchers said that further studies are needed to evaluate whether the effects of electronic cigarettes are long-lasting.

Electronic Cigarettes

Electronic Cigarettes

Electronic cigarettes are considered an alternative to tobacco or even a way to quit smoking. These devices have several advantages: are portable, they can be recharged and the amount of nicotine can be adjusted. Moreover, there are even  nicotine free devices. Although electronic cigarettes are considered safer and less harmful than smoking, there are few studies that evaluate the effects of these new devices on health. The only substance in tobacco that is found in electronic cigarettes is nicotine.

Effects of nicotine in the body are multiple. After it is inhaled, nicotine reaches the bloodstream and then enters central nervous system. Nicotine binds to nicotinic receptors and  triggers various effects. Some of them are well-known, such as pleasure or euphoria. There are also other effects of nicotine. For example, nicotine causes cardiovascular effects, such as an increase in heart rate and blood pressure. It seems that nicotine also causes an increase in blood sugar. As for the central nervous system, nicotine has a stimulating effect. This is why, smoking is associated with alertness and increased concentration. However, besides the stimulating effect, nicotine leads to addiction. As far as the carcinogenic effect is concerned, although it has not been shown that nicotine acts alone as a human carcinogen, it seems that it promotes tumor growth and angiogenesis in laboratory animal studies.