A new study investigating the effects of vapor from e-cigarettes is suggesting that long-term "vaping" could make people more susceptible to bacterial lung infections including pneumonia.
The vapor from e-cigarettes helps bacteria that cause the condition to stick to the cells that line the airways, researchers said.
Last month the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine published a comprehensive report examining the health effects of e-cigarettes. While the study conclusively suggested that e-cigarettes certainly expose users to lower levels of toxic substances than conventional cigarettes, it also found that e-cigarettes are potentially acting as a gateway to conventional smoking in youth and young adults.
The long-term health effects of e-cigarettes are still fundamentally unknown and while they may be comparatively "safer" than regular cigarettes, recent research is building a case suggesting vaping may have its own unique set of harmful effects.
Researcher Jonathan Grigg, professor of pediatric respiratory and environmental Medicine at Queen Mary University of London, said the study shows that vaping, especially in the long term, could raise the risk of bacterial lung infection.
"Pneumococcal bacteria can exist in our airways without causing illness, Grigg said. "In some cases they can invade the lining cells causing pneumonia or septicemia."
Griggs also said, "Some people may be vaping because they think it is safe or in an attempt to quit smoking, but this study adds to growing evidence that inhaling vapor has the potential to cause adverse health effects. Other aids to quitting such as patches or gum do not result in airway cells being exposed to concentrations of potentially toxic compounds."
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