Vaping causes inflammation, susceptibility to infections, mouse study finds
Electronic cigarette vapors can trigger substantial inflammation in the lung, a new study in mice finds. And that may make the animals more susceptible to infections by bacteria and viruses, such as strep and flu germs.
In lab mice, exposure to e-cigarette vapors for two weeks produced markers of blood nicotine comparable to those seen in people who smoke cigarettes and e-cigarettes. E-cigarette vapors also “produced mild effects on the lungs, including inflammation and protein damage,” notes Thomas Sussan of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, lead author of the study, published February 4 in PLOS ONE.
Inhaling free radicals, biologically harmful molecular fragments, may be responsible for the inflammation. Sussan’s group found that each vaping puff contains 700 billion free radicals, which ultimately triggered “a significant increase