Vaping is more harmful than first thought, study finds

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The researchers then exposed the cells to e-cig fluid, some to condensed vapor and some to nothing for 24 hours.

The inhalant vapor of the electronic cigarette, according to the new study, destroys cells of the immune system, making it hard for the lungs to get rid of potentially risky micro-organisms and infections.

With vaping becoming a style statement globally including in India, a small yet significant study has found that vaporisers may potentially disable key immune cells in the lung and boosts inflammation if used for long. Researchers at the University of Birmingham, headed by Professor of Pulmonology, David Thicket, who published the journal Thorax (Thorax), according to the BBC and the Reuters agency, found a way to imitate in the laboratory the effects of heat treatment on lung cells that had been taken by eight non-smokers.

The researchers "caution against the widely held opinion that e-cigarettes are safe".

Thickett said some of the effects were similar to those seen in regular smokers and people with chronic lung disease.

Although e-cigarettes probably pose less of a cancer risk than regular cigarettes, whether they are as safe as manufacturers claim is unclear.

Professor Thickett added: 'In terms of cancer causing molecules in cigarette smoke, as opposed to cigarette vapour, there are certainly reduced numbers of carcinogens.

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Vaporisers are different from traditional e-cigarettes in terms of the range of flavours, mixing, better user control and large battery use.

"There is an agenda to portray e-cigarettes as safe", Thickett said.

It showed that the vaping process itself could damage vital immune system cells, at least under laboratory conditions.

"However, since electronic cigarettes are used nearly exclusively in the United Kingdom by current or former smokers, the key question is how this adverse effect compares with that of exposure to cigarette smoke".

However the US Surgeon General has warned that e-cigarettes leave young people at risk of nicotine addiction, brain development problems and mood disorders, while the World Health Organisation has said it is concerned that heating e-fluid can lead to the 'formation of toxicants'.

This week the government's Science and Technology committee would release a report on the safety of e-cigarette smoke. And inflammation is one of today's leading medical blame-carriers for all sorts of additional health woes, with this study suggesting it interferes with the alveolar macrophages in the lungs that pull out dust and infections.

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