Study Finds Nicotine-Free Vapes Too Pose Lung Health Risks
A new study has found that vapes that are nicotine-free, too can cause oxidative stress in the lungs and lead to inflammation and breakdown of blood vessels. The team of researchers from the Anglia Ruskin University (ARU) in the UK said that this damage is similar to those found in patients with lung injury.
E-cigarettes have become increasingly popular in recent years and are often seen as harmless alternatives to cigarette smoking. Researchers identified a protein that causes nicotine-free vape fluid to increase in the lung, causing the damage.
The study published in the journal Microvascular Research demonstrated a range of damaging pathways when an in vitro model of the human lung was exposed to a common brand of nicotine-free e-cigarette. Several recent studies have shown the harm done by vapes that have nicotine in them. Vapes that have nicotine in them are banned in 39 countries, resulting in an increase in the use of
, particularly in adolescents.
Lead author Dr Havovi Chichger, Associate Professor of Biomedical Science at ARU said, “Vaping is a significant health concern considering the rising numbers of smokers, especially young teenagers, and research into its health impact is still at an early stage.”
Chichger added, “Nicotine-free vape fluid has been demonstrated to have the same chemical composition as nicotine-containing fluid except for the absence of nicotine. As the market is not currently well-regulated, it has been difficult to judge which chemical could be the most damaging to vascular function.”
The team at the University’s Biomedical Science Research group measured the effect of vape fluid on cells in a model of a human lung.
Three vapes, all watermelon flavour, were purchased from an online retailer and contained different concentrations of nicotine: 0mg, 10mg and 20mg in a 2ml solution to mimic concentrations commonly used by the public.
Analysis of the data revealed that a protein, ARF6, which was not previously thought to be linked to smoking or lung injury but is associated with vascular function, has a key role in regulating pulmonary microvasculature.
Chichger said, “Our findings indicate that nicotine-free vape fluid exposure causes similar pro-oxidant and pro-inflammatory effects on human microvascular endothelial cells, and that ARF6 is a key regulator in vape-induced damage to blood vessels.
Further investigation is vital to identify the link between the vaping of nicotine-free e-cigarettes and the potential development of lung injury in future years.”
How does nicotine vaping impact your health?
Vaping can affect your health in different ways. Even though people say it’s not as bad as smoking, it still has risks. When you breathe in the vapour from e-cigarettes, you’re taking in things like nicotine and other chemicals. Nicotine is the addictive part of smoking, and it can cause problems for your heart and body. Even if the vape juice says it’s nicotine-free, it might still have some.
Using vapes can also make your lungs irritated and might lead to issues with breathing. Some flavours in vapes can attract younger people, and that’s not good because it can get them addicted and affect how their brains grow. In short, while some think vaping is better than smoking, it’s important to know it still has possible health problems, and researchers are still figuring out all the details.