E-Cigarettes may not be a safer option for smokers
For those who just can’t put that cigarette out even though they know it’s bad, the Electronic Cigarette (e-cig) seemed to pose a safer alternative. But recent studies have revealed that the e-cig is not without causing its own risks to the human body. In fact, a new paper emanating from John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health reveals that mice exposed to e-cig vapor have weaker immune systems.
The senior author of the paper, Shywam Biswal goes on to say that e-cigs increase susceptibility to respiratory infections and as such, require further study for people with COPD and other susceptible individuals who have switched to e-cigarettes.
Of course, the best course of action is to not smoke at all. But for some, kicking the habit is just not that easy and the e-cig appeared to offer a positive option. And do mice really reflect humans? In this particular study, yes. The exposure to e-cig vapor was adjusted to exactly what a person would be exposed to during the same length of time (two weeks).
What is particularly troubling to scientists involved in the study of e-cigs on mice, was the potential danger the e-cig vapor has on users who are then exposed to bacterial or viral infections. The vapor alone produces inflammation and protein damage to users’ lungs but when followed by an infection, the negative effects became even more serious. The study showed that the exposed mice were unable to defend against pulmonary bacteria viral infections. (Source: John Hopkins)
While more studies examine the negative effects of e-cigs, there are other options for smokers to try to quit. The American Heart Association has a number of suggestions, including the Five-Step Process. There are also many resources to help people quit. See AHA Resources.