Whit all the negative headlines in the media these days surrounding vaping, a new study has concluded something good about vaping, especially when compared to smoking tobacco.
Scientists from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette gave mice a strong dose of Streptococcus pneumoniae – the strain that leads to the majority of cases of pneumonia caught commonly by people in the street or workplace. The crux of the study carried out on the mice was that vaping appeared to have less of a negative effect on the immune system than smoking.
And while smoking tobacco increases the risk of catching pneumonia, vaping does not seem to do the same. While tobacco smoke can activate genes of the bacteria and lead to issues, according to the study, vapor did not.
The recent study on mice looked closely at gene expression patterns in the mice, who were given either E-liquid vapor with nicotine, E-liquid vapor without nicotine, and cigarette smoke. The findings were interesting and quite compelling, even if they were only results from mice. The researchers found that E-liquid vapor without nicotine “switched on” just 14 genes.
E-liquid with nicotine activated 264 genes, and smoke from tobacco switched on 982 genes. Of those genes, most were in some way involved in stress response, and that’s one factor that increases the likelihood of getting an infection.
As Dr. Kulkarni concluded, according to the same report, “Our work is part of a long series of observations coming from a number of research labs trying to define what effects e-cigarette vapor exposure may have on human health and to differentiate between the effects of flavoring chemicals and nicotine.”
At the same time, according to Carlos A. Gonzalez, Ph.D., who published the previous research related to smoking and pneumonia, smoke from tobacco causes oxidative stress and alters responses of inflammatory cells.
It was only a matter of time before researchers would set up experiments to check the safety and dangers of vaping as compared to smoking, especially in light of the recent and grave vaping controversy. The latest study is a step in the right direction for vaping, and especially for vapers who have given up smoking cigarettes and were concerned about the recent controversy.
The best advice, for now, is still to stay away from THC-based E-liquids and cartridges until further clarification is forthcoming from bodies like the FDA and CDC.