ATHENS, Sept 4 — If you’re relying on electronic cigarettes (or e-cigarettes) as a safer alternative to smoking, a new study finds that they may still be causing harm to your lungs.
E-cigarettes, which release a vaporized dose of liquid nicotine without smoke or tobacco, have been stirring up hot debate over their safety, with some experts urging that they be pulled from the shelves.
In the latest study, researchers from the University of Athens in Greece recruited eight people who had never smoked and 24 smokers, 11 with normal lung function and 13 with either chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or asthma. In the study, each subject used an electronic cigarette for 10 minutes, with researchers then measuring their airway resistance using a number of tests.
Results? For all of the subjects, the e-cigarette sparked “an immediate increase in airway resistance” in at least one test, stated study author Christina Gratziou, who added that this “suggests e-cigarettes can cause immediate harm after smoking the device.” Because the long-term effects are unclear, the scientists state that more research needs to be done.
Gratziou presented the new research September 2 at the European Respiratory Society’s Annual Congress in Vienna.
But it’s not all bad news: a recent study led by Boston University School of Public Health researchers reports that e-cigarettes are a promising tool to help smokers quit, producing six-month abstinence rates nearly double those for traditional nicotine replacement products. — AFP/Relaxnews