Flavoured e-cigarettes can kill lung cells
Vapour from e-cigarettes can kill off cells which line human airways, new research has suggested. A study by scientists at the University of Adelaide in Australia found fumes from three types of apple-flavoured vaping liquid could destroy bronchial epithelial cells. These line the respiratory system and are important for keeping the lungs and airways clean.
The researchers also discovered the vapour could interfere with the immune system, in particular by disrupting macrophages: white blood cells which digest and store unhealthy cells and foreign debris. Vaping has been under intense scrutiny in recent months after hundreds of people became unwell and several died in the US from lung diseases which appear to be linked to e-cigarette use.
Researchers said their findings show tougher government regulation of vaping was now required. “There are no regulations on the manufacturing of e-liquids. There are also no requirements to list the ingredients or their quantities,” said Miranda Ween, one of the scientists behind the study.
E-cigarettes and the vapour they produce must no longer be considered to be essentially harmless alternatives to traditional cigarettes, the study’s authors concluded. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said they had not yet been able to identify which chemicals or substances might have triggered the vaping deaths.