E-cig study: Compared to smoking, vaping is a breath of fresh air

Vaping is under attack by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), as evidenced by the recent federal ban on the sales of flavored vapor products through brick-and-mortar retailers.  FDA Commissioner Gottlieb often takes to mainstream media while touting conspiracy theories about teen vaping being an alleged gateway to adult smoking.

Yet just days after the vaping ban was enacted, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released an FDA-endorsed report updating the latest national smoking statistics.  What the CDC determined is that smoking in America is at an all-time low.

Another piece of disinformation that FDA Chief Gottlieb often discusses in mainstream media programs like CNBC’s Squawk Box and others is that scientists do not yet know just how potentially dangerous to one’s health vaping truly is.  However, there are reams of scientific evidence indicating that vaping is substantially less harmful than smoking.  One such study conducted by Dr. Amir Farnoud of Ohio University suggests that vaping has essentially zero negative effects on the lungs and respiratory systems.

The tar in cigarette smoke is the real concern

Pulmonary surfactant is a rather technical name for the very thin lining of protectant covering on the interior of the lungs.  This surfactant helps to evenly distribute the applied pressure or surface tension to the lungs caused by the alveolar fluid.  When this thin lining or surfactant becomes damaged or toxified, as through smoking, for example, then very often the simple act of breathing can become laborious.

Dr. Farnoud and his research team wanted to determine if vaping produces any respiratory toxicity to this surfactant.  Since testing on human subjects was out of the question, they chose to use the lung surfactant of calves’ lungs instead.  The resulting vaping study entitled Electronic cigarette vapor alters the lateral structure but not tensiometric properties of calf lung surfactant is published in BioMed Central Respiratory Research.

Related Article:  Squawk Box Alert: Is Gottlieb implementing a vaping flavor ban in 60 days?

The scientists began by testing and evaluating the effects of vaping on the surfactant based on three, very specific factors. They measured the particle sizes and concentration levels of e-cigarette vapor produced from various e-liquids while also experimenting with the levels of exposure, or how closely the vapor interacts with the lung tissue.

To put this another way, the researchers wanted to evaluate the changes in effects compared to how deeply the e-cig vapor travels into the lungs.  Different e-liquid flavors were also tested.  Meanwhile, all testing procedures were duplicated using the smoke produced from conventional combustible tobacco products.  What they discovered is that vaping has ‘no effect’ on respiratory toxicity.

“E-cigarette vapor regardless of the dose and flavoring of the e-liquid did not affect surfactant interfacial properties. In contrast, smoke from conventional cigarettes had a drastic, dose-dependent effect on Infasurf® interfacial properties reducing the maximum surface pressure from 65.1 ± 0.2 mN/m to 46.1 ± 1.3 mN/m at the highest dose. Cigarette smoke and e-cigarette vapor both altered surfactant microstructure resulting in an increase in the area of lipid multilayers. Studies with individual smoke components revealed that tar was the smoke component most disruptive to surfactant function.”
“While both e-cigarette vapor and conventional cigarette smoke affect surfactant lateral structure, only cigarette smoke disrupts surfactant interfacial properties. The surfactant inhibitory compound in conventional cigarettes is tar, which is a product of burning and is thus absent in e-cigarette vapor.”

These scientific conclusions fly in the face of FDA fear-mongering tactics alleging that teen nicotine addiction is its primary reason for wanting to ban vapes.  Nicotine is found in both e-liquids and combustible cigarettes, but the latter also contains deadly, carcinogenic tar and chemical additives designed to keep the smoker addicted. 

The Farnoud team essentially determined is that vaping does not produce the alarmingly negative health effects on the respiratory system compared to those of smoking.  Compared to smoking, vaping is a breath of fresh air.

Related Article:   Vaping study indicates ‘no evidence of emerging lung injury’

(Image courtesy of Shutterstock)

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