Wednesday December 11, 2019

Nicotine Present in E-cigarette Increases Risk of Chronic Bronchitis, Says Study

The researchers concluded that nicotine produced these negative effects by stimulating the ion channel transient receptor potential ankyrin 1 (TRPA1)

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E-cigarettes
E-cigarettes is considered to be safer than tobacco cigarettes. Pixabay

E-cigarette vaping with nicotine not only hampers mucus clearance from the airways, but also increases the risk of chronic bronchitis, warn researchers.

A single session of vaping can deliver more nicotine in the airways than smoking one cigarette, warned researchers in a study published in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

“The question was whether vape containing nicotine had negative effects on the ability to clear secretions from the airways similar to tobacco smoke,” said Matthias Salathe, senior author of the study and Professor at the University of Kansas.

The study’s findings showed that vaping with nicotine impaired ciliary beat frequency, dehydrates airway fluid and made mucus more viscous or sticky.

These changes make it more difficult for the bronchi, the main passageways to the lung, to defend themselves from infection and injury.

FILE – A smoker exhales vapor from an e-cigarette at the Vapor Spot, in Sacramento, California, in this July 7, 2015, photo. VOA

“Vaping with nicotine is not harmless as commonly assumed by those who start vaping. At the very least, it increases the risk of chronic bronchitis,” Salathe said.

The researchers observed that exposing human airway cells to e-cigarette vapour containing nicotine resulted in a decreased ability to move mucus or phlegm across the surface. This phenomenon is called “mucociliary dysfunction.”

Mucociliary dysfunction is a feature of many lung diseases, including asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and cystic fibrosis.

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For the study, the researchers tested the effects of nicotine-containing e-cigarette vapours on airway mucociliary function in differentiated human bronchial epithelial cells (HBECs) and sheep, whose airways mimic those of humans when exposed to e-cigarette vapour.

The researchers concluded that nicotine produced these negative effects by stimulating the ion channel transient receptor potential ankyrin 1 (TRPA1). Blocking TRPA1 reduced the effects of nicotine on clearance in both human cells in culture and in the sheep. (IANS)

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E-Cigarette user Diagnosed with Pneumoconiosis: Study

Vaping leaves e-cigarette user with rare lung scarring

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E-cigarette
An e-cigarette user has been diagnosed with a rare form of lung scarring. Pixabay

An e-cigarette user has been diagnosed with a rare form of lung scarring typically found in metal workers, says a new study.

Doctors diagnosed the patient with hard-metal pneumoconiosis, a rare form of lung disease that causes irreparable damage, persistent coughing and breathing issues.

It is typically diagnosed in people who work with ‘hard metals’, such as cobalt or tungsten, in jobs like tool sharpening, diamond polishing or making dental prosthetics.

According to the study, published in the European Respiratory Journal, this is the first known case where the disease has been linked to vaping.

E-cigarette effects
Doctors diagnosed the patient with hard-metal pneumoconiosis caused due to vaping e-cigarette. Pixabay

“Hard-metal pneumoconiosis is diagnosed by looking at a sample of patient’s lung tissue under the microscope. It has a distinctive and unusual appearance that is not observed in other diseases. When we diagnose it, we are looking for occupational exposure to metal dust or vapour, usually cobalt, as a cause,” said study researcher Kirk Jones from University of California in the US.

“This patient did not have any known exposure to hard metal, so we identified the use of an e-cigarette as a possible cause,” Jones said.

Hard-metal pneumoconiosis causes damaged lung cells to engulf other cells and form ‘giant’ cells that can be seen clearly under a microscope.

It can result in permanent scarring in patients’ lungs with symptoms such as breathing difficulties and chronic coughing.

This scarring cannot be cured, although some patients may have mild improvement if the exposure to hard-metal dust stops and they are treated with steroids.

When researchers tested the patient’s e-cigarette, a personal vaping device used with cannabis, they found cobalt in the vapour it released, as well as other toxic metals – nickel, aluminium, manganese, lead and chromium.

e-cigarette vaping
This is the first known case where the disease has been linked to vaping. Pixabay

Previous research has also found these metals in vapour from other e-cigarettes and researchers say they believe the metals are coming from the heating coils found in vaping devices, rather than from any particular type of re-fill.

“Exposure to cobalt dust is extremely rare outside of a few specific industries. This is the first known case of a metal-induced toxicity in the lung that has followed from vaping and it has resulted in long-term, probably permanent, scarring of the patient’s lungs,” said Indian-origin reasearcher and study co-author Rupal Shah from the University of California.

“We think that only a rare subset of people exposed to cobalt will have this reaction, but the problem is that the inflammation caused by hard metal would not be apparent to people using e-cigarettes until the scarring has become irreversible, as it did with this patient,” Shah added.

“E-cigarettes are harmful, they cause nicotine addiction and can never substitute for evidence-based smoking cessation tools,” said Jorgen Vestbo, Professor at University of Manchester in UK.

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“The medical profession as well as the public should be concerned about a new wave of lung diseases caused by a product which is heavily promoted by the tobacco industry,” Vestbo said. (IANS)