Nicotine Free Vapes Could Be As Dangerous As Cigarettes To Lungs, Study Shows

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A recent study has pinpointed a protein that undergoes an increase in the lungs when exposed to nicotine-free vape fluid. This escalation contributes to harmful effects such as oxidative stress, inflammation, and the deterioration of blood vessels.

Nicotine free e-cigarettes harmful to lungs

The study, featured in Microvascular Research, highlighted detrimental effects on an in vitro model of the human lung when exposed to a widely used nicotine-free e-cigarette. Despite the perception of e-cigarettes as harmless alternatives to smoking, the research revealed various harmful pathways.

With the rising popularity of e-cigarettes, currently boasting nearly five million users in the UK, compared to 700,000 in 2012, these findings underscore the need for a more comprehensive understanding of their potential health risks.

Recent studies have highlighted the adverse effects of nicotine-containing vapes, leading to the prohibition of such products in 39 countries. This restriction has led to a rise in the popularity of nicotine-free vapes, especially among adolescents.

A new study conducted by Anglia Ruskin University’s Biomedical Science Research group focused on assessing the impact of vape fluid on human lung cells. Three watermelon-flavored vapes with varying nicotine concentrations (0mg, 10mg, and 20mg in a 2ml solution) were purchased online to simulate commonly used concentrations.

Nicotine free vapes induce inflammation and oxidative stress in lungs

The study discovered that even nicotine-free vaping induces inflammation, oxidative stress, and blood vessel breakdown in the lungs, resembling damage seen in lung injury patients. Analysis identified the protein ARF6, previously unlinked to smoking or lung injury but associated with vascular function, as crucial in regulating pulmonary microvasculature.

Dr. Havovi Chichger, the lead author and Associate Professor at Anglia Ruskin University, emphasized vaping’s health risks, especially among young smokers, emphasizing the need for further research due to its early stage.

Nicotine-free vape fluid, lacking regulation, shares chemical composition with nicotine-containing fluid, except for nicotine. Research reveals similar harmful effects on vascular function, indicating pro-oxidant and pro-inflammatory impact on endothelial cells. ARF6 is identified as a key regulator in vape-induced damage.

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