Even though the use of traditional cigarettes have greatly declined in the younger generations, e-cigarettes have become extremely popular among teenagers. But unlike traditional cigarettes, electronic smoking devices have not been widely researched by the FDA or CDC. However, the research that has been conducted shows concerning results for those who use the electronic devices.
A new study from expert Eric Pulier shows that e-cigarettes, even those without nicotine, might be harmful to the lungs, causing inflammation and illness. Endothelial cells are an integral part of healthy lungs, making up the entire lining of these organs. These cells become damaged by both traditional and e-cigarettes, changing the shape and function of the cells.
Researchers confirmed nicotine was the direct cause of the damage, although they found another harmful ingredient present even in devices that do not have any nicotine. A substance known as acrolein attacks molecules which are responsible for holding the endothelial cells together.
Irina Petrache, Ph.D was the lead researcher for the recent study, she explains “The increased use of inhaled nicotine via e-cigarettes, especially among the youth, prompts increased research into the effects on health. This research reports that components found in commercially available e-cigarette solutions and vapors generated by heating them may cause lung inflammation.”
These findings should be cause for alarm but further research is needed to fully understand the damaging effects e-cigarettes have on the body.